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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Florica Boditean
EDITORIAL SECRETARY
Adela Drucean
EDITORIAL BOARD:
Adriana Vizental
Clina Paliciuc
Alina-Paula Nemu
Alina Pdurean
Simona Rede
Melitta Rou
GRAPHIC DESIGN
Clin Lucaci
ADVISORY BOARD:
Acad. Prof. Lizica Mihu, PhD, Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad
Acad. Prof. Marius Sala, PhD, Iorgu Iordan Al. Rosetti Linguistic Institute
Prof. Larisa Avram, PhD, University of Bucharest
Prof. Corin Braga, PhD, Babe-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca
Assoc. Prof. Rodica Hanga Calciu, PhD, Charles-de-Gaulle University, Lille III
Prof. Traian Dinorel Stnciulescu, PhD, Al. I. Cuza University of Iai
Prof. Ioan Bolovan, PhD, Babe-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca
Assoc. Prof. Sandu Frunz, PhD, Babe-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca
Prof. Elena Prus, PhD, Free International University of Moldova, Chiinu
Assoc. Prof. Jacinta A. Opara, PhD, Universidad Azteca, Chalco Mexico
Prof. Nkasiobi Silas Oguzor, PhD, Federal College of Education (Technical),
Owerri Nigeria
Assoc. Prof. Anthonia U. Ejifugha, PhD, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of
Education, Owerri Nigeria
Prof. Raphael C. Njoku, PhD, University of Louisville United States of
America
Prof. Shobana Nelasco, PhD, Fatima College, Madurai India
Prof. Hanna David, PhD, Tel Aviv University, Jerusalem Israel
Prof. Ionel Funeriu, PhD, Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad
Prof. Florea Lucaci, PhD, Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad
Prof. Monica Ponta, PhD, Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad
Prof. Corneliu Pdurean, PhD, Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad
Address:
Str. Elena Drgoi, nr. 2, Arad
Tel. +40-0257-219336
e-mail: journalhss@yahoo.com, bodisteanf@yahoo.com,
adeladraucean@gmail.com
ISSN 2067-6557
ISSN-L 2247/2371

Faculty of Humanistic and Social Sciences of Aurel Vlaicu,


Arad

Volume V, No. 1 (9)/2014

CONTENTS
Research Articles
THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM /7
The Poetry of Defiance, the Defiance of Poetry. A Special Case of the Lost
Generation, Sorin Ivan /9
The Literary Icon of the Byronic Hero and Its Reincarnation in Emily Bronts
Wuthering Heights, Ecaterina Oana Brnda /25
Le dynamisme du triangle fminin amoureux Ion, crit par Liviu Rebreanu,
Liliana Danciu /35
Mythical Elements in Lucian Blagas Poetry, Mioara Lavinia Farcaiu /65
LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES /79
Presumptions of Intercultural Communication. Between Symbolic
Interactionism and Postmodern Society, Regis Mafteiu Roman /81
Some Considerations on the Genitive Case in Romanian and German,
Alina Pdurean /89
Slang Elements in the Journalistic Style, Carmen Neamu /97
Some Considerations Regarding the Case System of the Preposition contra
(Against), Cristina Corla (Han) /103
From the art of meaningful forms to the science of cultural discourse in
translation theory, Daniela Ene /111
SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL STUDIES /121
Foaia nvtorilor poporului (Blatt der Volkslehrer) (18681874) ein
pdagogisches Periodikum in sterreich-Ungarn?, Daciana Marinescu /123
Sustainable Brains: Deep Ecology and Dawn of the Dead, Craig Finlay /131
Interpretative methodology and social constructivism, Matei imandan /145

Review Articles
Dictatorul hispano-american. Realiti sociale i problematizri literare,
Emanuela Ilie /161

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM

The Poetry of Defiance, the Defiance of Poetry.


A Special Case of the Lost Generation
Sorin Ivan
Abstract:
The war generation, also known as the lost generation, marks a
moment of rupture in Romanian literature, by denouncing the literary tradition
and the aesthetic canons and by the wish to renew it. A particular case of the
lost generation is Ion Caraion. The poet expresses a structural existential
apostasy, an aesthetic revolt, historically circumscribed, and an iconoclastic
attitude toward everything old and outdated in existence, mentality, and
literature, in the name of the new and of the future, driven by messianic ideals.
In resounding manifesto texts and fulminant poems, he pleads for the separation
from tradition, for an aesthetic revolution, for the new literature, for a new
poetry, inspired from the original sources of existence, close to the genuine and
intense life, for authenticity and originality. In his conception of literature
context, under the auspices of the new poetry, Caraion writes poetry of
defiance, defying, in this way, the poetry in traditional vision. Through his
poetic work under the sign of rebellion and renewal, but also through his tragic
existence, Ion Caraion is an exemplary poet of the lost generation.
Keywords: the lost generation, literary canon, aesthetic revolt, iconoclastic
attitude, renewal, the new poetry

The war generation the lost generation


A particular place in Romanian literature of the early 40s, a space
defined by an extraordinary aesthetic diversity, is occupied by the socalled war generation, also known as the lost generation. It
comprises mostly young poets grouped around the Albatros magazine,
led by the poet Geo Dumitrescu. Among the best-known names, there
are: Constant Tonegaru, Ion Caraion, C. T. Lituon, Victor Torynopol,
Mihail Crama, Sergiu Ludescu, Iordan Chimet, Sergiu Filerot, to which
others of greater or lesser importance in the history of this generation are
added (Manu, 1978). They are defined by an attitude of rebellion, on the

Associate Professor PhD, Faculty of Social, Political and Humanistic Sciences, Titu
Maiorescu University; Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of
Bucharest, sorivan@gmail.com

one hand, to the social and moral order, compromised of falsehood and
hypocrisy, to the absurd of existence, under the sign of hazard, and, on
the other hand, to the literature tributary to an obsolete vision and
worn out patterns, in the spirit of a tradition that sang its swan song.
The war offers the poets a broad thematic framework for expression, in
lyrics out of the aesthetic canons of the time. They cultivate an antipoetic, anti-aesthetic and anti-rhetoric poetry, inclined towards the nonpoetic areas of existence, to the day-to-day, simple and essential
aspects of life, to the prosaic, trivial, ugly and promiscuous. In the
context of their attitude to literature, essential and renewing on the level
of the vision and aesthetics, their contribution to the evolution of poetry
lies in recovering the themes without lyrical glory, the daily, the
common, the gray, the ugliness and the sordid and in their integration
among the poetic topics, in a new, innovative aesthetics. Irony, sarcasm,
humour, often black humour, cynicism make their way into the new
poetry. The discourse is deconstructed in a variety of stylistic formulas,
free and creative, the writing is freed of common figures and
aestheticized schemes, giving free course to ideas, transcribed without
calligraphy and rhetorical fireworks. With the poets of this generation,
poetry descents from metaphysical to physical, from the heavens of the
high thoughts in the daily routine, in the bleak and sordid existence.
The poets of the war generation will not have time yet to
implement their vision of literature and develop the process of renewal
of poetry remarkably began. The end of the war brings on the scene of
history another nightmare, a political and ideological one, which will
last half a century: communism. After the ending of the global
conflagration, in Romania, following the cynical bargain of the great
powers, the Bolshevik regime is gradually and decisively installed. It
starts the annihilation and subjugation of the society through political
terror, by imposing a new ideological and axiological order, by
abolishing the elites and forcibly promoting new values and models. It is
a time of crisis, still in its beginning, established by a regime of terror,
which shortly will show, in a paroxysmal way, its criminal essence. The
war generations poets are silenced by the new regime, which will take
possession of everything, forfeit any and all freedoms and rights, turn
the society into a huge concentration camp and individuals to political
prisoners. Only those who will make compromises will survive. Or
those who will conclude the pact with the devil. The war generation
will thus become the lost generation.

10

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


A tragic existence in a tragic history
A special case of the lost generation is the poet Ion Caraion,
through his attitude towards literature, through the intensity of his
aesthetic revolt, but also through his own existence, a tragic existence in
its essence. His poetics, the radicalism of his attitude, the complexity
and versatility of his aesthetics, the strength of his writing, his
existential track, his literary work, his tragic destiny, anthumous and
posthumous, his critic aesthetic reception make Caraion a special case of
this literary era and of Romanian literature of the interwar and postwar
periods.
The poets life and work are situated, from the very beginning,
under the sign of revolt and of an iconoclastic attitude. For the lyrics
protesting against the war, his first booklet of poems, Panopticum
(1943), is withdrawn from bookshops by censorship, and the poet
threatened with a revolver by a representative of the political authority.
(Caraion, 1998b: 29). A rebellious spirit, Ion Caraion (pseudonym of
Stelian Diaconescu) acts, during and after the war, under the auspices of
protest, through his poems and through the articles he publishes in the
press of the time. The institution of communism, as a Bolshevik regime,
brings political and ideological terror, the destruction of Romanian
society, the absolute control over the individual and his enslavement. In
this time, ominous to man and history, Caraion writes two fulminant
texts entitled The crisis of Romanian culture and The crisis of the human
being, in which he protests against the counterfeiting of culture and
existence, against the imposing of worthlessness, against
dehumanization and alienation. Accused and arrested for having sent
poems and articles hostile to the regime abroad, Caraion is imprisoned
and executes five years of heavy prison, between 1950 and 1955, at the
Danube - Black Sea Channel and in the lead mines of Cavnic and Baia
Sprie, Maramures. He is arrested again, in 1958, for treason, in fact for
the blame of having sent abroad lists of writers to receive financial aid
from the West and poems written at the Channel to be printed, and
sentenced to death, according to the poets confession (Caraion, 1998b:
31). Three years, day by day, the poet is expecting, every moment, to be
taken in front of the execution squad. An agonizing and traumatic
waiting that disfigures his soul. Following the court recourse, the
penalty is switched to life imprisonment and, then, to 25 years of hard
labour prison. In 1964, against the background of the ideological thaw,
Caraion is released, along with all the political prisoners. A few months
before, yet, without knowing the international political context, he had
been determined to sign a collaboration agreement with the Political
Police (the Security) in order to be released. He signed it, knowing that

11

he still had 19 years of harsh imprisonment to execute. After his release,


Caraion writes and publishes, in an overwhelming rhythm, poetry,
essays and criticism, in a long series of books, affirming himself as one
of the leading writers of the postwar Romanian literature. At the same
time, on a subversive plan of his existence, he fulfills his secret
commitment with the regime, signed in prison, by writing reports to the
Security. His information notes regard notorious names of the literary
world, Caraions friends at the same time: Marin Preda, Nicolae
Steinhardt, Virgil Ierunca, Monica Lovinescu, etc. Caraion lives a
duplicitous life, in a psychological labyrinth full of contradictions and
torn by unbearable tensions. The inner torments, the moral drama of the
poet are reflected in his poetry at paroxysmal intensity. In 1981, he
requests political asylum in Switzerland, in Zrich, where he remains,
together with his family, until his death. Following a furious campaign
against him, conducted from the country, which reveals his existence of
duplicity, Caraion is becoming increasingly isolated in the free world
and lives tragically the feeling of loneliness. He, who had been in the
inferno of the communist gulag, knows, at the end of his life, the feeling
of moral confinement in the free world, the tragedy of the eternal
exile, as he confesses in a poem. He dies in 1986, because of the
diseases got in prisons, isolated and morally condemned by the others,
taking with him the tragedy of the absurd times, a victim himself of an
aberrant history. A tragic existence in a tragic history. Caraion is part,
indeed, through his destiny, of the lost generation.
Under the sign of apostasy. Poetry as freedom
Returning to the era of the war generation, Caraions poetry
denounces the falsified, devoid of meaning existence, but also literature,
that has used its creative energies, in a serious crisis of aesthetic identity.
His act of existential and aesthetic rebellion occurs on two levels: on an
ideological level, through the manifesto-articles, published in the press,
and on a literary level, in his poetry. A messianic air flows through these
programmatic texts, while the lyrics are defined by a renewing breath,
that announces the new poetry, able to express the times to come,
which the young poets were waiting for.
Caraions poetry begins rebellious. This is exactly how it will also
end, in exile, four decades later. For the moment, young enough to
experience unleashed fervour and the frenzy to create new worlds on the
ruins of the old ones, whose collapse he insists to witness, Caraion is
inspired by an aesthetic rebellion in what he writes. In a series of
articles published in the periodicals of the time (e.g. Literatura

12

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


viitorului, Oraul n literatur, Scrisul frumos, Scrisoare deschis
poeilor viitori etc.), in certain poems, he demands a break with the
poetic tradition, with the obsolete literary mindset, with the falsification
of literature, requiring a rebirth of poetry and of the poetic language and
asking for truth and freedom within the act of creation.
His poetry emerges and develops in a fertile environment, it feeds on
its rich resources, it assimilates literary elements that would help it
progress and which it would absorb in its aesthetic being, in time.
Although it promotes the break with tradition, with a fulminating
language and fiery arguments, Caraion manifests himself as a poet
within the existing poetry, this universe with many poetic galaxies,
constellations, stars and planets. Paradoxically, his poetry develops in a
literary space that the poet challenges, at least partially, nevertheless
exploiting its strong aesthetic resources. It is interesting to see what the
young authors poetry is like (Caraions first book, Panopticum, was
published in 1943, and he had been born in 1923), where he is up in
arms against the old world, vituperating and accusing it of a hypocritical
and falsified existence, ranting about the bourgeois order frozen in a
state of inertia, about the established writers and their way of
understanding literature. It is important to follow, in this literary and
psychological context, whether this rebellion, which conceals a sense of
frustration, rage and huge egos, can produce aesthetic effects in the
poetic vision and expression.
A first reading of Caraions poetry of that time reveals stylistic and
thematic similarities to what his fellow poets wrote and read the poets
of the so-called lost generation. As opposed to his kindred, however,
as regards his defining traits, Ion Caraion is more sober, less loquacious,
less dramatic and histrionic, less prone to using rhetoric and
melodramatic approaches; he is more contemplative and more profound.
Even though he generally uses similar techniques, his poetry focuses on
itself, it seems to be concealing something, to be willing to express
serious truths, which the world needs to hear, which cannot be
postponed any longer, essential truths, on which depends everybodys
fate.
The critique of the old literature and the new perspective that this
poet promotes are focused within his manifesto-articles and his
programmatic poems, which double as art of poetry. Caraions poems
suggest, from his very first volume, mans return to an authentic life,
untainted by prejudice, a natural representation of existence, poetrys
bond to reality, to the daily life, with all its aspects, including the sordid
and the repugnant ones. Caraion criticises sterility, the lyricoid
stumblers who forge poetry, who forget the reality of modern literature;

13

he despises, as he says in one of his poems, the rheumatic obedience /


of those sick with square centimetres, the ossification to the point of
canonical inertia, the unwillingness to change and to renew, and the
wisdom of the idiot century. The poet will not accept measure (in
poetry), the purity of the poetic vision, he rejects grammar, he prefers
rough poetry as a means of living truly, the one written by those who
wandered through neurasthenia, who were exceedingly false and
hypocritical, he wants poetry to be a scream. We wrote our neuroses
on the walls / and wandered through neurasthenia, to drink / the
dampness of the rain, the liquor of the poem / the dirty poison, the bald
scream...1 the young instigator writes in The vestibule of the poem
(Antreul poemului). He writes black songs2, rough, coarse poems, meant
to reflect the individuals inner universe, his consciousness troubled by
intense experiences, torn between the past and the future, the life of the
masses, the tumultuous motion of the community in search for new
shores of their existence: Certainly, not all songs please everyone. /
Some carry the sludge and pebbles inside us, / some are murky, rough
and fickle / others twisted like wire, / some are like a battle / we carry
with us, with our blood and memory, / some are tender like the leaning
blade of grass.3 (Black songs). These confessions suggest a rough,
exemplary ars poetica, which foreshadows the fundamental aesthetic
coordinates of Ion Caraions poetry, expressionism. The poet comes like
a Messiah to remove the mask from the face of life, in the name of
pain, energy and poetry. The yet unwritten poetry is the way for
this latent energy to awake, the chance for the rebirth of man and
humanity, an experience of spiritual freedom: I wont come in your
name / in your name everyone has come and gone; / Ill come in the
name of the pain coming through the air, / [] Ill come in the name of
the energy flowing / free through all the circles and veins of the earth; /
Ill come in the name of the poetry that no one wrote, / because
everyone was afraid of themselves, / Ill come in my own name (who

Noi am scris cu nevroz pe ziduri / i-am colindat neurastenia, s bem / igrasie din
ploaie, rachiu din poem / otrava murdar, iptul spn
2
It is no accident that the poets pseudonym is Caraion Ion the Black, which contains
in nuce a programmatic message. Another illustrious precedent in the direction of
synthesising the poetic philosophy in the name is that of Tudor Arghezi.
3
Sigur, nu toate cntecele sunt frumoase pentru toi. / Unele au mlul i pietrele din noi, /
unele sunt tulburi, sunt aspre, sunt schimbtoare, / altele rvite ca nite srme, / unele
sunt ca o lupt / pe care o purtm cu noi, cu memoria i sngele nostru, / unele sunt
blnde ca spicul aplecat. (Cntece negre)

14

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


never promised anything to anyone) (The case with phosphor hearts)4.
If we have to synthesise Caraions concept of poetry, which includes
this prodigious programmatic production (poems and articles), we could
describe it with the following phrase: poetry as freedom.
The break with tradition and the new poetry
Within his poetry, the break with tradition that Caraion professes
reflects essentially at the level of the poetic vision and that of the
aesthetic. The poet proposes a rough, original image of the world, as
close to the truth as possible. It is a biased truth, however, filtered
through a tense, hypersensitive conscience, which perceives the exterior
reality in particular representations. Poetry is, in this essential stance, a
means of knowledge and a means of expressing interiority. The image of
the exterior world reflects in the world of the ego, which processes it in
its labyrinthic circuits and then projects it back in a new, poetic
metamorphosis, like in a hall of mirrors. In the image crystallised by the
poets conscience, we can see the stages of a tough, violent world, ruled
by cruelty, cynicism and absurdity, a realm of suffering, where the man
is at the mercy of hazard. This world is ruled by death, life itself is a
way of anticipating the end in every metamorphosis of pain. On an
aesthetic level, Caraion creates, by concentrating and stylising several
literary influences, an expressionist formula, which has a
straightforward, rough, often violent way of objectifying vision and
which lacks any lyrical conformity. In other words, it is poetry as a
scream, as the poet himself had warned in his first programmatic
poem. Another important dimension of this poetry is the aesthetic of
ugliness, manifested both in vision and in discourse, which the poet
subsumes to expressionism, the fundamental movement that pervades
his lyrical universe. A few samples of the new poetry that Caraion
suggests, born of his own view of the world and translated as versatile
aesthetic, where several types of poetic influences can be found: The
concrete bubbles up drunk on the sidewalks / united under the sun with
soles of boots. / Ridiculous to think of other than the war. / We need
strong men now, chariots, maize, / not sewing machines for the
thoughts. / (Sirens walked the town and neighed / like horses at their
foal). / Certainly the trees have swallowed up their roots yesterday

Eu nu vin n numele vostru / n numele vostru au venit toi i-au plecat; / eu vin n
numele durerii care trece prin aer, / [] eu vin n numele energiei care circul / prin
toate cercurile i arterele pmntului, ntr-adevr liber; / eu vin n numele poeziei pe
care n-a scris-o nimeni, / pentru c fiecare s-a temut de el nsui, / n numele meu vin
(cel care n-a promis nimic, nimnui, niciodat). (Caseta cu inimi de fosfor)

15

afternoon... (Reason)5; City where youth is rotting in the street / city


like a sore-ridden dog coming out of hiding / idea-city, gangrene-city,
slumberous city / before the words the end. / City with a border,
crawling on all fours, stealing with all its might / in broken silence, with
bated night, / city we never visited, city where we die / without the
parable of the entry into Jerusalem. / City with ponds, with asylums,
with a distance / the city protesting existence... / Neither moon, nor field
or river / makes the wheat tremble / inside you / earth-city, boredomcity, thistle-city / with broken silence, in despair, with dogs / with scared
hands from going through the bogs. / Thats all: / grey, death, ugly,
wires, opaque... (Gangrene)6; In our absurd chests walk / bitter cities
on fire. The birds inside them are birds of prey. / People, incidental, talk
loud and alone. // Nobody answers, from the walls / or alleyways
snakes come out crawling; / the solitude of night, knife in hand / keep us
from ever stalling. (Panopticum)7; Celestial buildings hang above the
clocks / like black carcasses of kettles / veiled with ceramics and the
floor wrapped in myth / Hey! whose are the coffins clothed with
nettles? (Novel)8; On the field of flames underneath which I drown /
flow rivers of barefooted dead men / and a devastated sky all wounds
and nothing else / it flows inside our bones with rocks and rags / when
plants come out of temple-sheltered alleyways / with worms and hair in

5
Asfaltul bolborosete beat pe trotuare / conjugat cu tlpi de gheat la soare. / Ar fi
ridicol s te poi gndi la altceva dect la rzboi. / Acum trebuie oameni puternici, care
de asalt, ppuoi, / nu aparate de cusut cuvintele n gnd. / (Au mers prin ora sirenele
necheznd / ca nite cai dup mnz). / Sunt sigur c-n pmnt copacii i-au mncat
rdcinile de ieri de la prnz (Motiv)
6
Ora n care putrezete tinereea pe strzi / ora ca un cine cu bube ieit dimineaa
din lzi / oraul-idee, oraul cangren, ora adormit / mai nainte de cuvntul sfrit. /
Ora n care e-o grani, care se trte pe brnci, care fur / cu tcerea tiat, cu noaptea
la gur, / oraul prin care n-am mai fost, ora n care murim / fr parabola intrrii n
Ierusalim. / Ora cu heletaie, cu sanatorii, cu deprtare / oraul-protestare / Nici luna,
nici cmpul, nici rul / nu-i tremur grul / prin tine / ora-pmnt, ora-plicitiseal,
ora-mrcine / cu linitea rupt, cu disperare, cu cini / mpotmolit de cicatrice pe
mini. / Att: / cenuiu, moarte, urt, srme, opac (Cangren)
7
Prin piepturile noastre absurde se plimb / oraele incendiate, amare. Psrile din ele
sunt psri de prad. / Oamenii, incidentali, vorbesc singuri i tare. // Nu rspunde
nimeni, din ziduri / sau ganguri ies erpii cu mersul trt; / singurtile serii cu
cuitele-n mn / ne in de urt. (Panopticum)
8
Atrn peste ceasuri celestele cldri / ca nite strvuri negre de tuci mbrobodit / pe
jos cu ceramic iar podina cu mit / Hei! pentru cine-atrn cosciugele din gri?
(Inedit)

16

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


their long leaves. (Confluence)9; The youth of our songs / will burst
like a bullet, like dynamite. / Streets, cities and states / rose out of their
nests, / rushed out of alleyways, / rose from the depths. / Everythings
churning. / Everything is. // Poets! You have to instigate the world. /
You exist with everything that is. / You werent born for the dark, / for
locked chambers, / for closed curtains, / for women that are waiting; /
you were born for life, flow and campaign / you were born to be
forever among people, / with them, / by their side. (Black songs)10.
A particular way of objectifying the rupture, which can be noted
especially in the first volumes, is the break apparent, at least, in poetry
between form and content. While the poetic discourse often follows
classic metric structures, the idea no longer finds the proper way to be
expressed, constrained by the chosen form. Thus emerges an irreducible
tension, a break between text and content, which creates a kind of
aesthetic shock. Apparently neo-classicist or of the kind of a temperate
modernism, the poems in Caraions first books are a discursive
experience that consecrates, as an element of anti-rhetoric poetry, the
aesthetic conflict between form and idea. This is what happens, for
instance, in a poem like Sheet music (Partitur), from the book The man
shaped against the sky (Omul profilat pe cer, 1945): No, its not your
hand that weeps, / not your song that ripens; / caravans of forests driven
over here / and bustard music spit in blood. // The past takes me back
and plants a dagger in my back, / I begin to lose my handwriting, my
word / Our solitude was covered in earth cobs / and autumn sucks out
our lungs through fingernails. // And still I feel the dryness raining
From now / ripe fruit come to an end somewhere Im hot. / Hospitals
scream, the trees ignore us not / and the sky is drenched and the time
is rime // Dogs come and lick at our blood / grass defeats us, sleep
conquers us. / You see, we carry the Lord in our wounds / and every
night we feed him spiders. // This silence, oh, this elegy / the same
innocent scenery everywhere. / The word death, the term insane, / the

9
Pe cmpul de flcri sub care m-nec / trec fluvii de mori n picioarele goale / i-un
cer devastat numai rni, numai rni / ne curge prin oase cu pietre, cu oale / cnd din
ganguri pitite sub tmple, ies plante / cu viermi i cu pr pe frunze nalte. (Confluen)
10
Tinereea cntecelor noastre / va izbucni ca un glonte, ca o dinamit. / Strzi, orae,
state / au ieit din cuibare, / au nvlit din ganguri, / au rsrit din strfund. / Totul se
agit. / Totul exist. // Poei! Voi trebuie s agitai lumea. / Voi existai o dat cu tot ceea
ce exist. / Voi nu v-ai nscut pentru ntuneric, / pentru camerele ncuiate, / pentru
perdelele trase, / pentru femeile care ateapt; / voi v-ai nscut pentru tot ceea ce e via,
flux, campanie / voi v-ai nscut s fii permanent ntre oameni, / alturi de ei, / o dat
cu ei. (Cntece negre)

17

wind blows through the wheat, the soul covers our window11. In other
cases, the discursive template proves too restrictive to translate the idea,
it overflows traditional prosody and chooses large expands, developing
the poetic thought without any formal censorship. It is often, in his first
three books of poetry, that Caraion allows himself stylistic and prosodic
liberties without any formal constraint. For instance, in Schizophrenic
cycle (Panopticum): Over dense ravines lie the bulges of the water /
Will you ever forgive me, world of underground? / By the overturned
ponds of the eyelids meanders, / fields moaned in histories and the
lichens of my cave stopped walking. // Spaniels came out of the fated
forest / Their muzzles fresh stalks of cool air or the dogs? / They
tore off your gowns, they bit your red breasts before the gate / your
clustered fright in your curled hair, your hands like two warm quails. //
A star still seems to kiss your ankles rings. / Children roaming with the
rain brown, in faubourgs. / Like a spirit of perdition, the nights dahlia
cried crippled. / The autumn was solitary and the chamber had pale
arms. [] // The transient correspondence of the plants and earth /
answers through black mirrors hanging about your neck. / The moon cat
and the wind chase each other through the forest of the plague, / eaves
curl the ceiling, graveyards keep company. // At the end of the show we
gather in the huts. / Only our gloom and aversion still drink tea. /
Curtains in their night gowns, like ad-lib traps, / whistled with their
pierced voices we can see. // Vain, we knock our days together, /
sometimes we play with their screws You count / them all, but then
you cry The temples chronometry: calm / and the rolled tenderness
of your veins crystallise breath on a shoulder12.
11

Nu, nu e mna ta care plnge, / nu-i cntecul tu care coace; / convoaie de codri
mnate ncoace / i dropii de muzici scuipate n snge. // M fur trecutu-ndrt i mnjunghie, / ncep ca s-mi uit caligrafia, cuvnt / Ne-a umplut desprirea cu tiulei de
pmnt / i toamna ne suge plmnii c-o unghie. // Simt iar uscciunea cum plou Deacuma / sfrete undeva o prg, asud. / Spitalele url, copacii ne-aud / i cerul e
leoarc i timpul e bruma // Prin sngele nostru vin cinii de ling / ne biruie iarba,
ne mistuie somnul. / Vezi, ducem cu rana din carne pe Domnul / i-n fiecare sear i dm
s mnnce-un paing. // Tcerea aceasta, elegia aceasta / de pretutindeni, acelai decor
inocent. / Aici vorba moarte, acolo cuvntul dement, / prin gru trece vntul, sufletul neastup fereastra.
12
Peste prpstiile dense stau glcile apei / M vei ierta vreodat, subpmntean
univers? / Lng heletaiele rsturnate ale meandrelor pleoapei, / punile au gemut n
istorii i lichenii peterii mele n-au mai avut nici un mers. // Ieeau prepelicarii n geana
pdurii din soart / Cu boturile proaspete tulpinile rcoarei sau cinii? / i-au
lepdat rochiile-n pulpe, i-au mucat snii roii la poart / ciorchinii spaimei din bucle,
prepeliele nclzite ale minii. // Inelele gleznei tale i le srut i acum pare-mi-se o
stea. / Cafenii, prin foburguri copiii liberi cu ploaia. / Ca un duh al pierzrii, dalia

18

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


No geometry, no measure, no logic, no grammar: all of these
aesthetic and stylistic desiderata of the new poetry that Caraion proposes
will be reached in time. The poet will excel in a formula that
distinguishes itself by maximum fragmentation of discourse, by
cancelling logic, syntax and meanings. An extreme type of modernism
which Caraion will use to create a poetic formula that will define his
work. It is interesting to note that this is how the poet goes from poetry
with a neo-classicist form and with certain stances of classic
modernism to avant-garde forms of poetic neomodernism and even to
postmodernism. For the moment, as he lives in an age of aesthetic
searches and experiments, the poet tries to write new content in the
moulds of the poetic discourse, be they rigid or not. Until he consecrates
his own discursive formulas, he remains, particularly with his first
books, in a time of aesthetic transition. Meanwhile, his discourse will
experience a series of metamorphoses, reaching even radical stances,
created by the deconstruction and fragmentation of the text.
Starting from all these premises, from the idea of rupture as fertile
grounds for the birth of a new type of poetry, Caraions poetry begins to
develop, based on several sources of multiple lyrical coordinates. From
his very first books, his creation shows a series of aesthetic influences,
some of them wielded by prestigious poetic role models like Arghezi or
Bacovia, others inspired by literary movements such as avant-garde,
surrealism, expressionism, cohabiting under the generous umbrella of
modernism. Paradoxically, despite his innovative spirit, which was ever
present in the periodicals of the time and in his own books of poetry,
Caraion cannot exist outside a poetic context, he cannot leave the scope
of movements, trends and literary models. Mostly, there are two major
role models such as the aforementioned poets, whom the author truly
admires. The two cannot be assimilated to tradition in the sense that
Caraion disapproves of, therefore they are not among the likely targets
of the attacks in his programmatic texts. Arghezi and Bacovia are, on the
contrary, two distinct voices, two poets who contributed to a search for
new horizons and aesthetic possibilities in Romanian poetry, who
renewed and enriched it, in a wondrous process of transfiguration.
nopii, ciung, plngea. / Era singur toamna i alb-n brae odaia. [] //
Corespondena fugitiv a plantelor cu pmntul / rspunde-n oglinzi negre atrnate la
gt. / Se fugrete prin arborii ciumei pisica lunii cu vntul, / streinile nconvoaie
tavanul, cimitirele in de urt. // La sfritul reprezentaiei ne adunm n cabane. / Doar
mhnirile i desgusturile din noi mai beau ceaiuri. / Draperiile n cma de noapte, ca
nite improvizate capcane, / au rsuflat din perforatele graiuri. // Ne ciocnim vanitoi
zilele-n palm, / alteori ne distrm cu uruburile lor Tu le numeri / pe fiecare, dar
plngi Cronometria tmpelor: calm / i moliciunea sumeas a vinelor cristalizeaz
rsufletul buzei pe umeri.

19

Consequently, Caraions break with the poetry that existed before him is
not a radical one, as we might have expected because of his nullifying
enthusiasm, which seemed to rebuke everything. He grows from within
Romanian poetry, he assimilates influences from world poetry and
manages to impose, throughout time and over the course of his work, a
new voice, a dense aesthetic universe, a complex one, with its own
identity.
Conclusions
The war generation appears on the scene of history in an
auspicious period of Romanian literature, in which the literary currents,
aesthetic canons and formulas, covering a wide range of
metamorphoses, coexist. During this period, very diverse authors are
writing, among whom there are great names, emblematic for our
literature. On the historical reality level, it is a tragic period, the Second
World War, dominated by collective and individual sufferings, by
murder and genocide, by the irrational forces in man, under the sign of
the absurd. It is a time of emergency, from the suffering and ashes of
which hopes of new times are born. The young poets of this generation
advocate the separation from the literary tradition, aiming to change the
face of literature. Their revolt and desire to renew poetry have, more
than solid aesthetic reasons, psychological grounds in the enthusiasm of
their age, animated by apostasy and revolutionary trends, by the
aspiration towards building new worlds. The aberrant course of history,
the establishment of communism interrupt the progress of this
generation, that becomes the lost generation.
A rebellious and iconoclastic spirit, Caraion situates himself, from
the beginning to the end, under the auspices of protestation and of a
critic attitude: towards literature and the obsolete aesthetic mentality,
to history, to political ideologies and regimes, to all types of
totalitarianism, to the absurd and cynicism of the existence, to life and
death. This attitude profoundly influences his poetry and becomes the
sign of his aesthetic identity, that bears the mark of expressionism. His
poetry grows inside the literary tradition, within Romanian and
universal poetry, out of which it selects its sources and models.
Assimilating the influences and transfiguring them in the retort of his
renewing vision, the poet achieves new poetic formulas, in stylistic
forms of great versatility, experiments innovative textual modes and
explores new lyrical territories. Begun under the sign of revolt and
defiance, Caraions poetry develops within an original aesthetics, that
identifies him on the scale of Romanian postwar literature. His poetic

20

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


experience evolves on the psychological coordinates of an irreducible
tension, that often reaches paroxysmal intensities. Defined by his
iconoclastic spirit, by the tendency to defy the established forms and
invent, in turn, aesthetic formulas, the poet remains the creator of a
unique poetry and of an original poetic language. His poetry represents a
well-defined aesthetically chapter of Romanian literature. At the same
time, Caraion is a special case of the lost generation, not only by his
poetry, but also by his tragic destiny, under the stigma of an absurd
history.

REFERENCES:
Bloom, Harold, Anxietatea influenei. O teorie a poeziei (The Influence Anxiety.
A Theory of Poetry), Piteti, Paralela 45 Publishing House, 2008.
Caraion, Ion, Panopticum (Panopticum), Bucharest, Prometeu Publishing
House, 1943.
Caraion, Ion, Omul profilat pe cer (The Man Profiled on Sky), Bucharest,
Forum Publishing House, 1945
Caraion, Ion, Cntece negre (Black Songs), Bucharest, Royal Foundations
Publishing House, 1946.
Caraion, Ion, Necunoscutul ferestrelor (The Windows Unknown), Bucharest,
Literature Publishing House, 1969.
Caraion, Ion, Dragostea e pseudonimul morii (Love is the Pseudonym of
Death), Bucharest, Cartea Romneasc Publishig House, 1980.
Caraion, Ion, Apa de apoi (Water from Beyond), Bucharest, Cartea Romneasc
Publishig House, 1991.
Caraion, Ion, Cimitirul din stele (antologie) (The Cemetery of Stars
(anthology)), Bucharest, Eminescu Publishing House, 1995.
Caraion, Ion, Postume (Postumes), Bucharest, Adevrul Holding, 1995.
Caraion, Ion, Exil interior (Inner Exile), Bucharest, Libra Publishing House,
1997.
Caraion, Ion, Poezii arestate (Arrested Poems), Bucharest, Publishing House of
the Romanian Literature Museum, 1999.
Caraion, Ion, Antichitatea durerii (Pain Antiquity), vol. I, Bucharest, Vinea
Publishing House, 2005.
Caraion, Ion, La terre a mang ses fontaines, Bruxelles, Maison Internationale
de la posie, 1985.
Caraion, Ion, Lam-stram-gramit, Lausanne, Les ditions Jean-Marie
Bouchain.
Caraion, Ion, La neige qui jamais ne neige et autres pomes, Lausanne, LAge
dHomme, 1993.
Caraion, Ion, Greeala de a fi, Poeme /The error of being, Poems, Romanian
Cultural Foundation Publishing House, Forest Books, 1994.

21

Caraion, Ion, Jurnal I, Literatur i contraliteratur (Journal I, Literature and


Counterliterature), Bucharest, Cartea Romneasc Publishing House, 1980.
Caraion, Ion, Insectele tovarului Hitler (The Insects of Comrade Hitler),
Mnchen, Jon Dumitru Verlag, 1982.
Caraion, Ion, Tristee i cri (Sadness and Books), Bucharest, Romanian
Cultural Foundation Publishing House, 1995.
Caraion, Ion, Jurnal II, Literatur i contraliteratur (Journal II, Literature
and Counterliterature), Bucharest, Albatros Publishing House, 1998a.
Caraion, Ion, Jurnal III, Ultima bolgie (Journal III, The Last Bolgy), Bucharest,
Nemira Publishing House, 1998b.
Caraion, Ion, Scrisori ctre Nicholas Catanoy (Letters to Nicholas Catanoy),
Cluj-Napoca, Napoca Star Publishing House, 2003.
Clinescu, Matei, Cele cinci fee ale modernitii (The Five Faces of
Modernity), Iai, Polirom Publishing House, 2005.
Cristea, Valeriu, Criza culturii (Culture Crisis), in Critical Notebooks, no. 3,
1993.
Derrida, Jacques, Lingvistic i gramatologie (Linguistics and Grammatolgy),
in For a Theory of Text, Anthology Tel Quel 19601971, Bucharest, Univers
Publishing House, 1980.
Derrida, Jacques, Scriitura i diferena (Writing and Difference), Bucharest,
Univers Publishing House, 1998.
Eco, Umberto, Opera deschis, Form i indeterminare n poeticile
contemporane (The Open Work, Form and Undetermination in Contemporary
Poetries), ediia a II-a, Piteti, Paralela 45 Publishing House, 2002.
Jauss, Hans Robert, Experien estetic i hermeneutic literar (Esseistic
Experience and Literary Hermeneutics), Bucharest, Univers Publishing House,
1983.
Manolescu, Nicolae, Metamorfozele poeziei. Metamorfozele romanului (Poetry
Methamorphoses. Novels Methamorphoses), Iai, Polirom Publishing House,
1999.
Manolescu, Nicolae, Despre poezie (About Poetry), Braov, Aula Publishing
House, 2002.
Manolescu, Nicolae, Literatura romn postbelic, Lista lui Manolescu, I.
Poezia, III. Critica. Eseul (Postbelic Romanian Literature, Manolescus List, I.
Poetry, III. Critics. Essay), Braov, Aula Publishing House, 2001.
Manu, Emil, Eseu despre generaia rzboiului (Essay on the War Generation),
Bucharest, Cartea Romneasc Publishing House, 1978.
Manu, Emil, mpria de sear a Poesiei (Evening Kingdom of Poetry), in
Critical Notebooks, nr. 12 (9899), 1996.
Negoiescu, Ion, Luminoasa i ndrtnica inteligen (The Bright and
Stubborn Intelligence), in Critical Notebooks, no. 12 (9899), 1996.
Negoiescu, Ion, Fermierul de imagini (The Farmer of Images), in Critical
Notebooks, nr. 12 (9899), 1996.

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THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


Negrici, Eugen, Literatura romn sub comunism Poezia (Romanian Literature
under Comunism, Poetry), Bucharest, PRO Foundation Publishing House,
2006.
Nemoianu, Virgil, O inocen caustic (A Caustic Innocence), in Critical
Notebooks, nr. 12 (9899), 1996.
Ricoeur, Paul, Metafora vie (The Vivid Methaphore), Bucharest, Univers
Publishing House, 1984.
Simion, Eugen, Scriitori romni de azi (Romanian Writers from Today), I,
Bucharest, 1st edition, Cartea Romneasc Publishing House, 1974, 2nd revised
and expanded edition, Cartea Romneasc Publishing House, 1978.
Simion, Eugen, Ion Caraion i experiena limitelor (Ion Caraion and the Limits
Experience), in Critical Notebooks, no. 12 (9899), 1996.
Simion, Eugen, Fragmente critice (Critical Fragments), II, III, Craiova, Scrisul
Romnesc Publishing House, 19972000.
Steinhardt, Nicolae, ntre via i cri (Between Life and Books), Bucharest,
Cartea Romneasc Publishing House, 1976.
Tudoran, Dorin, Prin i ceretor (Prince and Begger), in Critical Notebooks,
no. 12 (9899), 1996.
Zaciu, Mircea, Exilul i mpria cerurilor (Exil and the Heavens Kingdom),
in Familia, nr. 9, Oradea, 1992.
Critical Notebooks, Exil i literatur (Exil and Literature), no.12, 1993.
Critical Notebooks, Ion Caraion Anotimpuri n infern (Ion Caraion
Seasons in Inferno), no.12 (9899), 1996.

23

24

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM

The Literary Icon of the Byronic Hero and Its


Reincarnation in Emily Bronts
Wuthering Heights
Ecaterina Oana Brnda
Abstract:
The present study aims at investigating the Romantic literary embodiments
of the archetype of the Byronic hero as depicted in three of Byrons most
representative poems, followed by an overall view of Emily Bronts
(re)creation of Byrons gothic hero in her famous novel, Wuthering Heights. In
the first section of the study the emphasis is placed on the Byronic heros major
traits presented in nuce in Childe Harold, Manfred and Cain. The second part
of the article underlines Emily Bronts indebtedness to the literary icon of
Byrons hero and stresses the similarities between this iconic character of the
Romantic age, and Heathcliff, a character of the Victorian novel.
Keywords: Byronic hero, character, Romanticism, Victorianism,
(re)writing

Although harshly criticized on moral grounds and frequently


attacked by critics, Lord Gordon Byron remained one of the most
fashionable poets of the Romantic age, the most flamboyant and
notorious of the major Romantics. He was a man of paradoxes, a
worshiper of the ideal who never lost touch with reality, a man of great
fault and great virtues antithetically mixed, a deist and a freethinker,
a spirit hampered by mal-direction, affectation, and self-sophistication,
but when it gets free, giant and fine; an imagination full of clay and
crudities, but volleying at times into prodigious passions, reality, and
compass (Cunliffe et al, 1957: 585).
Byron embodied the Romantic spirit and gave it a recognizable face.
As a Romantic icon his importance was enormous. He was the
originator of the Romantic anti-hero, also known as the Byronic hero,
and left behind him this everlasting character that pervades much of his
work. The Byronic hero, one of the most prominent literary types of

Senior Lecturer PhD, Emanuel University of Oradea, oanamail2010@yahoo.com

25

Romanticism, and not only, embodies an idealized but flawed


protagonist whose main characteristics include the features of a gloomy,
unsatisfied social outcast, a wanderer in foreign lands, defiant,
melancholic, sometimes haunted by a secret guilt, a fighter against
social injustice, in his quest for self-realization, but who refuses to
accept social codes and conventions. He is a narcissist whose all efforts
refer essentially to himself: to his own feelings, his own sensations, his
own capacities (Moglen, 1976: 29).
Scholars have traced the literary roots of the Byronic hero from
William Shakespeare and John Milton, but Byron is considered to be the
one who epitomized once and for all the characteristics of this literary
figure. Childe Harold exhibits the initial version of the type in Byrons
work, but later embodiments of the Byronic hero appeared in many of
Byrons other works, such as his series of poems on Oriental themes:
The Giaour (1813), The Corsair (1814) and Lara (1814), his dramas
Manfred (1817) and Cain (1822) or his poem in sixteen cantos, Don
Juan.
The Byronic hero was later featured in the works of other authors
and artists of the Romantic movement, as well as by writers of Gothic
fiction during the 19th century and beyond. The fascinating Byronic hero
has influenced many writers to incorporate his features into their
characters. Novelists such as Jane Austen, Emily and Charlotte Bront,
Oscar Wilde or Charles Dickens are just some of the English Victorian
writers in whose works instances of the Byronic hero are apparent.
Generally speaking, the Byronic hero exhibits several particular
characteristics. He does not possess heroic virtues in the usual,
traditional sense. He is a well-educated, intelligent and sophisticated
young man, sometimes a nobleman by birth, who at the same time
manifests signs of rebellion against all fundamental values and moral codes of
the society. Despite his obvious charm and attractiveness, the Byronic hero
often shows a great deal of disrespect for any figure of authority. He was
considered the supreme embodiment [] standing not only against a
dehumanized system of labor but also against traditionally repressive
religious, social, and familial institutions (Moglen, 1976: 28).
The Byronic hero is usually a social outcast, a wanderer, or is in
exile of some kind, one imposed upon him by some external forces or
self-imposed. He also shows an obvious tendency to be arrogant,
cunning, cynical, and unrepentant for his faults. He often indulges
himself in self destructive activities that bring him to the point of
nihilism resulting in his rebellion against life itself. He is hypersensitive,

26

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


melancholic, introspective, emotionally conflicted, but at the same time
mysterious, charismatic, seductive and sexually attractive.
Childe Harolds Pilgrimage, a poem in four cantos, written, between
1812 and 1819, in the difficult Spenserian stanza, tells the story of a
disillusioned young man, an original prototype of the Byronic hero, who
travels to the places that Byron himself had visited on his Grand Tour.
In a wider sense, the poem, as a whole, is nothing but an artistic expression
of the age, one that voices the torments of an embittered generation.
The title of this narrative poem is inspired by the medieval word
childe, a term used to denote the title given to a young man who was to
become a candidate for knighthood. The word pilgrimage strengthens
the idea of the necessity of experience and hardships in ones life, life
understood, in this register of interpretation, as an initiatic journey. In
this contexts, the experiences of the youth have an inestimable value, for
they are meant to shape the character and personality of the future man.
Childe Harold himself is actually an accurate projection of the poet, a
sensitive, disillusioned man, burned out by intense emotions and
dissipations, yet still capable of deep feelings in the face of nature and
the past. The heros travels open the eyes of his mind and allow for a
better perception and understanding of the world around him. As the
poem advances, the wild, immoral, superficial Harold from the first
Canto gradually develops into a deeply reflective, introspective and
meditative man. His cynicism begins to soften and the intensity of his
feelings to grow. His former observations and descriptions of the nature
and places he visited turn into elevated contemplations interspersed with
deep reflections on history, on political and individual freedom or
slavery, on mans sufferance, humility and dignity, on sorrows, pains
and transience of love. One of the greatest merits of Childe Harold is that it
provides the first example of what was to be known as the Byronic hero.
Some of the characteristic traits of the Byronic hero that were highly
exploited by Byron himself in his future works are related to the
mysterious past of the character, a past suspected to be stained with an
unnamed crime or curse. This is the case of Manfred, the protagonist in
the drama with the same name. Published in 1817, Manfred is Byrons
first drama, one that details the portrait of the Byronic hero. Manfred
was not originally intended for the stage, since it was written to be a
dramatic poem or, as Byron called it, a metaphysical drama.
Because the play was written after Byrons marriage had failed in
scandal and his reputation had been forever compromised due to a
presumed, incestuous affair with his half-sister, Augusta Leigh, most of
the critics considered the play to be autobiographical, or even
confessional. As Helen Moglen pointed out, The Byronic hero and

27

Lord Byron the poet [] were inseparable in the public mind (Moglen,
1976: 27). Beyond any doubt, Byron moulded his hero on the role he
seemed forced to play himself. All the biographical references indicate
that the creation of this tragic hero was nurtured by the desire to bring to
life an unconventional character, a projection of Byrons own fears and
anxieties, revolts, guilts and sins.
Without a doubt, Manfred represents Byrons articulation of the
Romantic hero, a character tortured by a sense of guilt for an unnamed or
unconfessed sin. Manfred is a Faustian noble living exiled in a Gothic castle
in the Alps. He is indeed a stereotype for the Romantic hero: ambiguously
handsome, passionate and melancholic at the same time, tormented, sensitive
and solitary. He is a proudly solitary man who refuses to be bound by any
constraints of human society. He is the living embodiment and expression of
le mal du siecle, the centurys evil, and of the Weltschmerz, the grief of the
world assumed by the individual (Clontea et al., 1995: 94).
Manfreds drama is caused by the internal anguishes he experiences,
torments caused by his own sense of guilt for an unspecified
transgression involving his dead sister Astarte, the only human being he
ever loved. The nature of Manfreds sin is widely thought to be
associated with an incestuous relationship with Astarte, for whose death
he feels responsible. In order to regain his inner peace, Manfred, like
Faust, attempts to transcend humanity, to summon different unearthly
spirits from whom he seeks forgetfulness. His various attempts are
doomed to failure. Gradually, Manfred begins to take on some of the
qualities of Miltons Lucifer: he becomes the divine rebel, defying
omnipotence itself. Not only does he reject all sorts of human contact,
but he also chooses to refuse submission to any spiritual authority, as
well as the aid and comfort offered by various religious representatives, be it
pagan or Christian. Manfred answers only to himself embracing a self
destructive narcissistic attitude, one that becomes dangerous for him as well
as for the others. Eventually, he finds himself forced to accept the limitations
of the human condition. Torn between his noble aspirations and guilt, and
unable to solve this dual conflict, he ends up by committing suicide.
In 1821, Byron publishes another dramatic poem, Cain, in which he
tries to dramatize the biblical Cain and Abel story from Cains point of
view. The image of the Byronic hero is carried to its extreme in Cain,
the protagonist of the play. George Sampson considers that with Cain
we witness the final stage in the evolution of the Byronic hero. The
note of rebellion against social order and against authority is stronger
than ever (Sampson, 1972: 521). Byrons contemporaries felt horrified
by this drama, considering it a gross blasphemy.

28

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


This dramatic poem has at its roots the biblical story from Genesis
after the Fall, after God had banished both Adam and Eve from the
Garden of Eden. Byrons hero is a prototype of Cain, Adam and Eves
first son, the one who ends up by murdering his brother Abel. From the
very beginning, Byrons Cain is presented as a rebel against his earthly
father, Adam, and his heavenly father, God. His refusal to be thankful to
divinity and his revolt against a God, who, according to him, unjustly
fated humans to die, gradually transforms Cain into one of Byrons most
conflicted characters. His conflict is one of the intellect. Cain struggles
with the problem of evil, questions Gods goodness and mightiness and
feels intrigued by the idea of death. More than any other Byronic hero,
Cain is, from the very beginning of the play, at odds with the established
system of values, a renegade who engages in an impetuous struggle to
discover the origins and meaning of life.
Atara Stein, in The Byronic Hero in Film, Fiction and Television,
traces the influence of Lord Byrons Byronic hero, as depicted in
Manfred, Childe Harold and Cain, and his reincarnations in the
Victorian, modern and post-modern literature, film and television. On
his way to becoming reincarnated in contemporary forms, the
nineteenth-century hero has had to make his way through the Victorian
era she says (De Stein, 2004: 29).
During Victorianism, the general reaction to Romanticism varied
widely. Some authors or poets adopted Romantic themes, motives, or
characters and embodied them in their works, while others tried to find
new, original and distinctive ways of approaching literature.
As mentioned before, the popularity of the Byronic hero developed
during Victorianism. Avid readers of Byron, the Bront sisters began
writing under the shadow of the great Romantic Lord. As Bettina L.
Knapp writes, Although the (Bront) children were inspired by a variety
of works they had read, the passionate and heroic rebel, outcast, and fighter
for causes, Lord Byron, was their absolute favorite (Knapp, 1991: 24).
The Bront children were fascinated by Byrons outrageous life and
his doomed characters. Still, the sisters offered different reactions to
Byronism in their novels and poetry. While Anne and Charlotte Bront
strongly echoed Byron in their poems, they also showed, at times, signs
of a reserved attitude towards Byronism in some of their novels,
especially in Annes case. Emily Bront was the one who fully
embraced the idea of the Byronic hero and (re)portrayed him in both her
poetry and novel. She understood how popular and appealing the
Byronic hero had become as a literary figure, so that she tried to show in
her literary creations the consequences of his egoism, self-absorption
and misanthropy in very real ways. (De Stein, 2004: 27). In Heathcliff,

29

her hero from Wuthering Heights, she embodied a recognizable face of a


new, Victorian, Byronic hero.
Emily Bronts literary character of Heathcliff is often described as
a Byronic hero because he exhibits most of the traits identifiable in the
heroes from Byrons poems. Beyond any literary influences between
Byrons poetry and Emilys novel, the similarities seem to transcend the
cultural field, only to find their roots in Byrons actual biography.
In her book, Emily Bront, Winifred Grin points out that not only
Byrons works but even the events from his real life served as a source
of inspiration for Emilys Byronic hero, Heathcliff. The researcher
refers to an event in Byrons youth that left a recognizable trace in
Emilys work; this was connected with the poets early love for Mary
Chaworth. It seems that young Byron overheard Mary saying to her
maid one evening: Do you think I could care for that lame boy? Byron
described these words as hitting him like a shot through the heart
(Grin, 1971: 46). Byrons reaction was that he instantly darted out of
the house scarcely knowing whither he ran, and never stopped till he
found himself at Newstead Abbey (Ibidem: 45). As Grin points out,
The relevance of this incident to the scene in Wuthering Heights, in
which Heathcliff overhears Catherine telling Nelly Dean that it would
degrade her to marry him, whereupon he runs away and is not heard of
for three years, need not be stressed (Ibidem: 4546).
The biographical truthfulness and the similarities between Byrons
life and experiences and the literary projections of his anxieties, fears
and feelings are unquestionable. This sort of artistic phenomenon has
been natural and recurrent in the literature of all times. What is relevant
for the present study is the impact of the Byronic figure on Emily
Bronts shaping of Heathcliff. As Grin points out, In Byron, Emily
found the champion of unsociable man. His ill-fated lovers attract her
equally because of their contempt for conventional society and their
boldness in defying their unpropitious stars (Grin, 1971: 46).
Although the general atmosphere of Byrons poems is different from
that of Emily Bronts Wuthering Heights, the similarities between the
traits and experiences of the protagonists, coined as Byronic heroes, are
striking alike. In both cases, the heroes involved result from the authors
extreme need to create unconventional characters, with mysterious
origins, men who are ill-fated and have cursed lives, who fail in
everything they do and suffer due to unsuccessful love relationships.
They are prey to an existential restlessness and are always haunted by a
spiritual burden that forbids them to rest their souls and bodies. Byrons
Manfred laments: My slumber if I slumber are not sleep / But a

30

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


continuance of enduring thought/ Which then I can resist not. In the
same way, Heathcliff is described by another character in the novel as
going blind with loss of sleep (Bront, 1968: 262).
Byronic heroes are most of the time stigmatized by a dark secret
hidden in their past. In Heathcliffs case, the mystery is even deeper,
since his origins are unknown. This lack of identity was also epitomized
in Byrons Childe Harold: but whence his name/ And lineage long, it
suits me not to say;/ Suffice it, that perchance they were of fame,/ And
had been glorious in another day. Ever since his childhood, Heathcliff
is described as an otherworldly being, a substitute of a human child.
There are clues in the novel that lead to the idea that Heathcliff was a
bastard, the illegitimate child of Mr. Earnshaw and, as a consequence,
he was perceived as a direct threat to the rest of the Earnshaws. The
mystery of his background is never solved, so Heathcliff is doomed to
be forever different. His dark physical appearance prevents him from
fitting in. He is often called a gipsy by different characters, while Mr.
Earnshaw describes him as dark almost as if it came from the devil
(Bront, 1968: 32). His demon-like appearance condemns his to be
forever an out and outer forced to live at the margins of society.
Byrons Cain remains the absolute example for desolate
homelessness. He is the banished traveller who carries the marks of his
sin for killing his brother, Abel. Byron moulded his heroes after the
mythical image of Cains curse and exile, perceived as expiation for his
sins. Directly descendant from Cain and Manfred, Heathcliff is also
doomed to be an outcast, rejected and alienated from the rest of the
social and family environment.
Heathcliffs anger and devilish appearance are not only due to his
gypsy-like skin, but the direct consequences of the mistreatment and
sufferance he had to endure ever since childhood. Later in life, after his
three years of absence, Heathcliff is physically transformed, but
behind his gentlemanly looks lies the same rebellious and villainous
man, hunted by a troubled past and forced to live an unbearable present.
Heathcliff has the potential to evolve and to improve his condition in
life, but the ghosts from his past prevent him from being human and turn
his nature into a devilish one. Torn between the degradation of his past
and the anxieties and frustrations of his failures in the present, Heathcliff
is doomed to be subjected to an endless struggle to win a battle with the
rest of the world. What emerges is a man that is prey to anger, distrust,
hate and overwhelming sufferance. For most of his life, especially after
Catherines death, he lives in a self imposed exile, an exile seen as a
partial solution for survival. Heathcliff himself considers that his mined
is eternally secluded in itself and his alienated self is lost forever.

31

Likewise, Byrons Manfred undergoes the same process of


alienation, and he acknowledges it explicitly: From my youth upwards/
My Spirit walked not with the souls of men,/ Nor looked upon the earth
with human eyes./ The thirst of their Ambition was not mine / The aim
of their existence was not mine / My joys my griefs my passions
and my powers/ Made me a stranger, though I wore the form/ I had no
sympathy with breathing flesh/ Nor midst the Creatures of Clay that
girded me/ Was there but One. That One Astarte, Manfreds
supposed sister, soul mate, and dearly beloved , is the original
prototype of Catherine, Heathcliffs sister. Strictly speaking, Catherine
and Heathcliff are not related, but they have been raised as siblings. The
theme of incest, although only suggested in subsidiary, is present in both works.
Discussing Byrons influence on Emily Bronts novel, Grin
Winnifred refers to the defiance of Cain; the fatal love of Manfred; all
these Byronic attributes [] that were finally justified in the protagonist
of Wuthering Heights (Grin, 1971: 46).
Both Manfreds and Heathcliffs emotional complexity makes them
mysterious and desirable men. Atara Stein highlights the irresistible and
dangerous physical attraction that the Byronic hero-villains emanates
and the threat they pose to their lovers independence, autonomy and life
(De Stein, 2004: 25). This description of the Byronic hero fits Heathcliff
perfectly. In Catherine Heathcliff sees his second self, a projection of his
own soul and spirit. He overwhelms her with his obsessive love up to
the point that they both become haunted by each other. Hes more of
myself than I. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the
same she says (Bront, 1968: 121).
Manfred portraits Astarte using the same obsessive and extreme
tone. Their passionate relationship consists of a complete identification
with the other: She was like me in lineaments her eyes / Her hair
her features all, to the very tone/ Even of her voice, they said were like
to mine; [] She had the same lone thoughts and wanderings [] Her
faults were mine-her virtues were her own .
The love of the Byronic hero, although attractive in its
dangerousness, superhuman feelings and pathologic completeness, ends
up by being destructive. Deborah Lutz remarks that the very foundations
of love for the Byronic hero are based on failure and the forgetting of
what is possible. In Manfred, Astarte has died because of the heros
unspecified sin, but finally the hero himself fails because ultimate
failure is a defining condition for the Byronic hero (Lutz, 2006: 52). I
loved her and destroyed her/ Not with my hand but heart, which broke
her heart Manfred confesses.

32

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


This fatal and destructive Byronic love also stigmatizes the
relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff. Catherines death, also
an agonizing one, is presented as a consequence of the falling into
dangerous temptations that the Byronic hero poses and at the same time,
paradoxically, as a punishment for betraying her love for the Byronic
hero. De Stein considers that Catherine dies due to her inability to
prevent her fantasy love from impinging on her real-life marriage.
(Stein, 2004: 25) Cathys fragility comes to surface only when the
separation from Heathcliff is effected. The wild defiant girl becomes an
invalid wife who eventually collapses. Her illness is caused by her
repressed desires and struggles to regain Heathcliffs presence and
affection. She is torn between a socially accepted super hero,
represented by her legal husband Linton, and her forbidden Byronic
hero, Heathcliff, with whom she feels total identification (her alter ego).
In the same way, Heathcliff, although he despises Catherine for her
conduct and the social strictness she imposes upon herself, feels helpless
in managing his feelings for her. For Heathcliff, too, Catherine is his
true (half) self, because she stands for all the joyous moments of his life.
She is his past, present and everlasting future.
The only hope for both these Byronic couples is a post-mortem
reunion. Heathcliffs greatest wish is to be haunted by the ghost of his
beloved Catherine. He goes so far as to impose a curse upon himself. He
wants to be continually condemned to be tormented by her imagined
spirit: I pray one prayer Be with me always take any form drive
me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!
Oh God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live
without my soul!. Heathcliff invokes her return from death: Cathy, do
come. Oh do once more! Oh! My hearts darling! Hear me this time
Catherine, at last! (70) His desperate appeal closely echoes Manfreds
invocation of Astarte: Yet speak to me! []/ Speak to me! though it be
in wrath! but say / I reck not what but let me hear thee once / This
once once more! Discussing Manfred and Heathcliff, Grin notes,
the voice of Heathcliff is no less authentic when he cries to the dead
Catherine [] because Manfred cried with equal passion years before to
Astarte (Grin, 1971: 45). Both Heathcliff and Manfred welcome their
torture because it is the only way they can remain connected to their
loved ones. In his book, Byron and the Victorians, Andrew Elfenbein,
referring to the after death closeness between the protagonist of
Wuthering Heights, notices that Heathcliff is closer to Catherine here
than he is while she is alive, because after death he projects an ideal
version of her, a Catherine who pursues him with an enthusiasm that the
real Catherine does not have (Elfenbein, 1995: 56).

33

By adopting and incorporating the model of the Romantic Byronic


hero in her novel, Emily Bront managed to (re)create a new Victorian
fiction-character, one that presents the Byronic lover at his best and at
his worst by juxtaposing realism and romance in a unique original way.
Although Heathcliff is evidently moulded after Byrons iconic heroes,
Wuthering Heights departs from the conventions of the earlier Byronic
romance and becomes an utterly innovative masterpiece in which Emily
Bront manages to simultaneously make use of, praise and critique
Byronism and anti-Byronism.
REFERENCES:

Bront, Emily, Wuthering Heights, ed. David Daiches, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1968.
Christiansen, Rupert, Romantic Affinities: Portraits From an Age, 17801830, Cardina,
1989.
Clontea P, Teodorescu A, Bantas A, Annotated English Literature.
Romanticism, Piteti, Vlasie Publishing House, 1995.
Cunliffe, John W. (ed.)., Young, Karl, (ed.), Pyre, J.F.A, Century Readings in
English Literature, Appleton-Century Company, 1957.
Elfenbein, Andrew, Byron and the Victorians, Cambridge, Cambridge
University Press, 1995.
Grin, Winnifred. Emily Bront, Oxford, Oxford Clarendon Press, 1971.
Knapp, Bettina L. The Bronts: Branwell, Anne, Emily, and Charlotte, New
York, Continuum, 1991.
Moglen, Helen, Charlote Bront: The Self Conceived, New York Norton, 1976.
Lutz, Deborah, The Dangerous Lover: Gothic Villains, Byronism, and the
Nineteenth-Century, Ohio State University Press, 2006.
Mc Gann, Jerome, Byron and Romanticism, ed. by James Soderbolm,
Cambridge, University Press, 2002.
Sampson, George, The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature,
London, Cambridge University Press, 1972.
Stein, Atara, The Byronic Hero in Film, Fiction and Television, Southern
Illinois University Press, 2004.
INTERNET REFERENCES:
All quotations from Byron are taken from The Complete Works of George
Gordon Byron available at:
http://books.google.ro/books?id=6UgOAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=
ro&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
Ceron, Cristina, 2010, Emily and Charlotte Bronts Re-reading of the Byronic
hero available at: http://lisa.revues.org/3504 (retrieved on 2014-03-20)

34

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM

Le dynamisme du triangle fminin amoureux


Ion, crit par Liviu Rebreanu
Liliana Danciu
Abstract:
This study follows under ideational aspect the article entitled Myth and
Tragedy, fatality and failure in the destiny of the realistic character Ion by
Liviu Rebreanu, published in the previous number of the Journal of Humanistic
and Social Studies. Just like a lighthouse which sequentially beacons the
landscape of an island, in the first article I beaconed gradually each critical
perspective, starting with the traditionalist view, continuing with the
psychological interpretation to put the character in the light of a mythical
analysis in terms of specific mentalities on Romanian archaic space. In this
study, we aimed both how female characters triangulates the heros eroticism
and enhances the dynamics of his fate fatality and the tragic destiny dimension
of a unique female character in Romanian literature, Ana Baciu. Not only Ana
is surprised by her spiritual unfulfillment, but also Florica, along with other
female characters in the novel, who know love, but not fulfillment. The erotic
female triangle, Ana The Great Goddess Florica is potentiated by the female
isomorphism of the earth, which, with the image of a mother, lover, virgin,
attracts, calls and embraces fatally all the characters of the novel.
Keywords: eroticism, sexuality, tragedy, fatality, suicide, Great Goddess,
Aphrodite/ Demeter feminine

Les femmes du Pripas masculin


Bien que la sconde pope dHomer sintitule LOdyss et le
personnage principal soit Ulysse, et que laction de cet oeuvre suive le
trajet de son hros vers Itaca, les personnages fminins dcident les
coordonnes de son destin. Mortelles ou desses, sorcires ou vierges
innocentes, les femmes le sduissent, laident, le dsirent, laiment ou
lattendent, car ces femmes reprsentent toutes les preuves initiatiques
et les tapes que cet homme doit parcourir dans un voyage plus
important quun simple parcours ds linconnu vers lespace intime.
Dans LOdyse, du point de vue archetypal, ces femmes si diffrentes
ne sont que deux: la femme dmterrienne et la femme vnusienne, la
limite, la femme en qualit de mre/pouse et la femme en qualit de

Teacher of Romanian language at Technological Highschool Dacia in Caransebe,


liliana.danciu70@yahoo.com

35

matresse 1 (Boditean, 2013: 17). Tout commeon a souvent soulign,


les femmes trament le destin dUlysse qui nest accompli que par
lamour pour Pnlope, son pouse. Ni Calypso qui lenchanera dans
ses bras, quoiquelle lui offre limmortalit, ni Circe par lamour-magie,
ni mme la virginale Naussica avec la promission de laube dun
nouveau dbut, mais ctait la sage Pnlope, plus exactement Pnlope
avec du bon sens comme a t nomme par Eugen Simion.
De mme faon, le roman Ion poursuit le destin du protagoniste en
treinte liaison avec les sorts des femmes de sa vie, parce que tous les
personnages influencent chacun son tour le destin de lautre. Le
fminin vnusien est hypostasi par Florica et la terre-matresse, la terrevierge, fminin qui exerce une fatale et irrsistible influence sur le
hros. Le fminin dmterrien est prsent par lintermde dAna,
lpouse et la mre, mais aussi par la troisime hypostase de la terresource de la vie dont Ion lappelle et lentend ds lenfance. Il aime la
terre plus que la mre naturelle, Zenobia, parce que llment htonian
est la source de la vie, est lutrus universel qui reoit avec gnrosit la
smence quelle soigneusement protge lintrieur pour maintenir le
miracle de la vie. Ion aime aussi Florica avec un amour-passion fort,
mais il renonce laccomplissement de cet amour et tire profit de la
navet dAna pour possder les terrains de Vasile Baciu. La
possession de terrains lui offre lillusion de contrler une force qui lui
aurait donn le droit dobtenir aussi lamour de Florica, mme sil y
avait renonc et la femme tait marie avec un autre au moins, au
niveau social. La terre comme lon verra, la Grande Desse ne
pardonne pas cette duplicit et punira le hros qui sera tu dune faon
symbolique avec loutil des travaux agricoles, la bche. Ion est un hros
civilisateur, Marduk, qui, pour ses qualits, domine le monstre Tiamat,
le calme et lui arrache les fruits par la fcondation, mais la force
chaotique et sans contrle de ce monstre le tura. Dans la mythologie
grecque, la vue de corps des desses vierges tait interdit aux mortels;
considre tabou. De la mme faon, Ion nest pas pardonn pour avoir
vu le beau corps noir de la Grande Desse et pour cette transgrssion il
payera avec la vie.
Lespace du village de Transylvanie qui apparat dans ce roman, le
monde rural commence se dvoiler comme une humanit plus diverse,
avec des ressources spirituelles encore restes en dehors de lanalyse,
mais qui est structur psychologiquement: pour les surprises que le moi
individuel fait, aussi pour le moi social qui appartient un topos
1

Traduction par Liliana Danciu.

36

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


spcifique (Curticeanu, 1986: 38). Sans lidalisation de la vie dans
lespace rural, le quichotisme romanesque, lexistence du roman en
illusion finit avec Ion (Manolescu, 1979: 251). Pripas, le village
traditionaliste en essence, dveloppe des relations horizontalement (les
riches avec les riches et les pauvres avec les pauvres), tributaire aux
mentalits archaques, o le masculin et le fminin sont fixs depuis
toujours: lhomme et la femme travailleurs consacrent le lieu. Lhomme
prend soin du dot de sa femme et de son propre hritage, mais il doit
travailler avec assiduit pour les augmenter. Dans une socit
androcratique, lhomme est llment actif, ladulte, le matre de sa
fortune et, par la sagesse de ses dcisions, il dcide la sort de sa famille.
La femme est llment passif, docile, qui doit se soumettre lhomme
son pre, au dbut, puis au mari et ensuite son enfant du sexe
masculin si elle reste veuve. Dans son tude sur la homosexualit dans
la Grce antique, Maurice Sartre souligne la grande diffrence tablie
entre les deux conceptes: actif/passif, masculin/fminin, matre/esclave,
adulte/adolescent, qui marque les relations sexuelles et lordre sociale
spcifiques ce temps-l. La relation de ladulte avec ladolescent qui
ntait pas exclussivement sexuelle faisait part dun ancien rite de
passage de lenfance la maturit, quivalent au passage du stade
involu de la femme au stade suprieur de lhomme, qui peut prendre
des dcisions. Pour comprendre entirement les subtilits de ce rapport
entre le masculin et le fminin, ainsi que le moyen de passage du
concept dandrogyne celui dhermaphrodite et aussi le symbolisme des
rites de passage, il y a ltude intressant et loquent Hermafroditos.
Mythes et rites de la bisexualit dans lAntiquit classique, crite par
madame Marie Delcourt. Devenir un lment passif pendant la maturit
cest mprisable, parce quune attitude pareille tait destine aux
femmes et aux esclaves (Sartre, 1991: 48). Jean Cournut cite loeuvre de
Pascal Quinard, Le sexe et leffroi, en relevant lantagonisme du rapport
masculin/fminin, parce que les Grecs et les Romans ne connaissaient
pas la notion dhomosexualit, mais seulement lopposition
activit/passivit. Les Antiques opposaient au phallos (fascinus)
nimporte quel orifice, le pntrant au pntrable, mme au pntr.
Rome, la passivit tait considre un crime chez un homme libre par
naissance, en temps que pour un esclave, elle tait une obligation totale.
lesclave nest jamais permis de sodomiser son matre et celui-ci ne
doit pas permettre dtre sodomis par lesclave (Cournut, 2007: 26
27). Dans une communaut phalocratique, celui qui possde des biens,
des sujets (des esclaves et des femmes) cest le matre, car les femmes
sont des valeurs dchange et leur possession est un preuve vidente de

37

sa richesse [] leur possession devrait videntier la virilit du


propritaire (Cournut, 2007: 27).
Ces valeurs archaques reprsentent le coutume spcifique dans
lespace traditionaliste, o Ion, qui ne possde pas des terrains, ne reoit
pas la reconnaissance de sa virilit, mme si Ana et Florica sont aussi
perues comme des biens. Ana dtient des terrains, donc, du point de
vue symbolique, elle peut investir Ion de toutes les valeurs de la virilit
perdue dune manire dshonorante par le pre incapable. Florica est
pauvre cause de sa mre, une veuve qui est reste sans les bras forts et
la sagesse de son homme et qui a dissip la fortune que son mari avait
laisse. Avoir en possession la terre est synomyme avec tre
homme , tre puissant, tre respect. Cet impratif gouverne la vie du
Ion et provoque la tragdie de son destin. Mme sil aime Florica, son
destin est cras sous la fatalit du verbe devoir : Il doit se marier
avec Ana!... Il doit! . Smaranda Vultur introduit quelques personnages
de Liviu Rebreanu, comme Ion, Apostol Bologa; Puiu Faranga, Toma
Pahonu, dans la galrie des hros-victime , qui reoivent ds le
dbut ou au parcours de la narration, la conscience de leur existence
strile des transcendances devies (Muthu, 1993: 80). Les hrosvictime sentent, entendent et obissent aux certains appels qui
transgressent la biologie, la nature; ils appartient au transcendant,
comme lamour, la mort, la terre; malgr que limpulse social,
acquisitif soit fort, dans le hros, cependant le plus fort reste lamour
(Raicu, 1967: 107). Les hros rebreniens aiment douloureusement et
dune faon tragique, parce quils se situent dans un sorte dantagonisme
avec eux-mmes et par rapport la socit. Ion aime Florica dvor par
un dsir douloureux, mais il aime aussi la terre, dchir par une passion
effrayante; Ana aime Ion craintive et soumise jusquau moment de la
rvlation douloureuse de son chec; en suivant le sort de sa mre, sage
et obissante, Laura sacrifie lamour pour Aurel et accepte le mariage
avec un homme insipide, comme Pintea, pour le bien de sa famille. Dans
les romans modernes de Camil Petrescu, lantagonisme du hros avec
soi-mme et avec la socit serra plus violent, en recevant des accents
dramatiques par lintermde du raffinament de lanalyse psychologique,
de la lucidit et de laspect pensif des intellectuels tefan Gheorghidiu,
le personnage du roman La dernire nuit damour, la premire nuit de
guerre et George Ladima, le protagoniste du roman Le lit du Procust.
Pripas est un espace de la masculinit dbordante, de la virilit, de la
force physique et de la puissance sexuelle. La ronde du village surprend
en plan culturel, social et ontologique la manifestation de cette force
endigue par les conventions de la communaut, qui pourtant se

38

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


manifeste par des gestes significatifs, sur les visages empourprs de
fatigue et de passion, par les attouchements apparemment accidentals
qui font tressaillir les corps embrasss des jeunes. Cest une danse
frntique , une danse des mchantes fes , qui implique des
dploiements dnergies irrductibles, qui apportent quelque chose
dune male prdiction du nant et de la mort (Raicu, 1967: 105). Aprs
la description du chemin qui serpente partir de Jidovia vers Pripas,
avec ses tranges toponymes, aprs la prsentation dun village amolli
sous le soleil caniculaire, la ronde du village reprsente le premier
mouvement dans le roman Ion (Ilin, 1985: 124). Avec sa forme ronde
et son symbolisme solaire, vital, la danse du village est la structure
fondamentale de ce roman en pense Stancu Ilin qui affirme aussi
toutes les autres structures sont codifies dans son signifiant (Ilin,
1985: 124). Pendant cette danse presque mystique se forme le triangle
rotique AnaIonFlorica avec ses significations foncires et les
principaux conflits du roman commencent: celui de Ion, le jeune homme
pauvre, le voleur comme lappelle le pre de Ana et mme
Vasile Baciu, le riche, un conflit provoqu par les intrts fonciers et
lautre conflit de Ion et de George Bulbuc provoqu apparemment
partir dAna, mais qui a des racines plus profondes dans la position
sociale de ces deux jeunes hommes. Ion est le leader authentique du
group de jeunes hommes du village et George est un leader apparent
dont la position sociale est de la richesse. La ronde du roman Ion est
une ciuleandra2 dyonisiaque (Muthu, 1993: 41), o les personnages
dcident leur destin. Cette danse nous emmne vers un triangle , pas
ncssairement rotique, mais aussi puissant, parce quau mouvement
circulaire et magique de la musique, chaque individu est li dun
ct lautre un partenaire de sexe oppos. La ralit magique est
justement souligne par cet tat de captivit , parce que, pendant la
danse, les partenaires doivent dpendre lun de lautre. Le trio, rotique
ou non, est toujours sacr, mme aussi par les plus profanes
mouvements, parce que la ronde impose la maintenance de la liaison.
Dans les grandes oeuvres de la littrature universelle, la danse, le bal
sont des lieux o les personnages prennent de dcisions qui changeront
leur vie: Anna Karenina tombe amoureuse de Vronski un bal,
mcontente de la vie avec son mari, Emma Bovary dcide de vivre une
vie diffrente pendant une danse et dans les oeuvres de Balzac les bals
forment des scnes-type, parce que la musique favorise la libration du
soi (Drbu, 2004: 11).
2
Le Dictionnaire Explicatif de la langue roumaine offre cette dfinition pour
ciuleandra : danse traditionnelle de la rgion roumaine, Muntenia, ayant un rythme
progressif, acclr .

39

la fin de la ronde, dans la gargotte dAvrum, diviss par les


conflits entre Ion, Vasile Baciu et George Bulbuc, les jeunes hommes se
regardent avec hostilit, parce que la tension et lnergie enchannes
dans les corps puissants flottent dans lair encrass. Les figures dures
avec des expressions svres, les corps puissants qui dgagent de la
force vile, les gestes violents, le langage grossier composent un tableau
expressif pour le type de masculinit spcifique au village de Ion:
Entre temps, la nuit tait tombe et la chambre ntait plus illumine que
par une lampe sale de suie, suspendue une poutre du plafond. Dans la
lumire jaune-malade et tremblante, les hommes paraissaient plus ivres
quen ralit, les yeux brillaient plus sauvagement, et les bras nus, ossus,
avec les muscles gonfls comme des serpents affams, se levaient toujours
au dssus de ttes troubles, en menaant ou anticipant un pril. Les voix
devenaient plus grosses et elles taient de plus en plus enroues, les mots
devenaient plus grossiers et les jurons plus nerveux. Les faces mouilles de
sueur scintillaient les unes rouges fonces, les autres jaunes-vertes, et de ce
vacarme menaant se levaient, puissants, des rires frivoles, un rot dur, des
hurlements prolongs (Rebreanu, 1979: 32).

Quand Ion a battu George Bulbuc, les autres jeunes viennent autour
de lui pour montrer leur respect et leur admiration. Le manque de
terrains, de richesse est compens du respect obtenu par la force
psysique, par lintelligeance et par la charisme. Le village Pripas est un
espace de la violence o les femmes sont attires par des hommes
puissants dont la force est un vritable tmoin de la capacit
dadministrer bien le foyer. Cest pourquoi le monde du village
traditionel, dont la voix sentende par lintermde du narrateur
omniscient et omniprsent, est intransigeant avec les paresseux, les
gaspilleurs sans sagesse, parce que ceux-ci ne sont plus dhommes et ils
ne sont plus dignes de respect quun vrai homme mrite. Le narrateur est
impitoyable dans la caractrisation de la mre de Florica, une femme
sans aucune qualit pratique, qui a dissip toute la fortune hrite de son
mari:
La femme est arrive du mal au pire. Ce quune intelligeance masculine
pargne travers une existence, une femme incapable gaspille dans une
anne, ou moins. Quand il est mort, dans la cour il y avaient des meules,
dans les deux tables il y avaient plus de btes que despace, les chars
nentraient plus dans le hangar ou sous lappentis. On y voyait de la
richesse. Maintenant la court est compltement dserte et dans les tables
une vache strile et toujours affame, faible comme une ombre, beugle en
vain (Rebreanu, 1979: 11).

40

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM

De ce point de vue, la veuve de Maxim Oprea et Alexandru


Glanetau sapparentent aux mmes dfauts, parce quun homme
paresseux et une femme gaspilleuse reprsentent la paire fatale dans
nimporte quelle situation, mpriss par la communaut. partir du
commandement biblique de labourer la terre, dans les contes roumains,
la paresse est lantipode de la cration mme et non pas lantithse de
lardeur au travail. Daprs Jean Crysostome, la paresse prcde toute
catastrophe, car, irrsistible par son attraction et possessive par sa
nature, elle reste la principale cause du pch primordial. On ne doit pas
oublier Lhistoire dun homme paresseux, crite par Ion Creang, o,
exasprs par le manque de bon sens du paresseux, qui peut conduire la
communaut au dsquilibre et au Chaos, les villageois dcident de le
condamner la pendaison. Si la paresse est un pch dans le village
traditionaliste, le gaspillage est une maldiction. Analys du point de
vue de croyances magiques, le gaspillage est un signe vident du vol
dabondance, manifest justement par lincapacit de la famille
travailleuse damasser des richesses. Il parat que la femme est
responsable de scuriser les brches spcifiques de la maison le
seuil, la fentre, la chemine assigs sans cesse par les forces du mal.
La femme soppose au geste de donner de lintrieur de la maison ,
parce quun acte de charit qui na pas une signification religieuse est
synonyme au gaspillage. Une femme gaspilleuse devient une
maldiction pour sa famille quelle condamne la pauvret.
Zenobia, la mre de Ion, est une femme comme un homme ,
travailleuse, nergique, conome et puissante. Malgr les qualits
videntes, elle ne russit pas de sauver son hritage, parce que o il
ny a pas de sagesse, il ny a pas de prosprit comme trs inspir
souligne le narrateur et, dans la mentalit de cette communaut
traditionaliste, la sagesse est lhomme mme. Zenobia nest pas marie
un homme, et, mme si elle est devenue homme par ses qualits
exceptionnelles, ce ntait pas suffisant. Alexandru Glanetau nest pas
considr un vrai homme, parce quil nest quun paresseux, qui naime
pas du tout travailler, il est indolent et frivole, en gaspillant sans
scrupules lhritage de sa femme. Homme et femme deviennent deux
notion charges de significations positives et ngatives qui dpassent le
sexe et le genre, en envoyant aux valeurs ontologiques: tre homme est
synonyme au notion de travailleur, sage, quilibr. Il nest pas humiliant
pour une femme dtre femme, mai il en est pour un homme qui nest
plus un homme. Le pre de Ion est un ivrogne, un vice qui apportera la
perte la famille, il est paresseux et superficiel, mais bni grce son
mariage avec Zenobia, une femme comme un homme . Zenobia,

41

jeune fille unique aux parents, amne un hritage imprssionant,


moins que Glanetau sache tre homme pour le maintenir . Le vieux est
mpris aussi par son fils cause de sa faiblesse, ainsi que pour le
manque de certaines qualits qui lauraient recommandes un homme.
la ronde, Alexandru Glanetau fait preuve dun comportement humble
en se glissant parmi les paysans riches en latral, comme un chien la
porte de la cuisine, [] impatient dintrvenir au discours, gn
pourtant de se fourrer aux riches (Rebreanu, 1979: 13). Le portrait
dAlexandru Glanetau est fminis pour videntier aussi le mpris du
narrateur mais aussi de la communaut virile pour ce type dhomme:
Le vieux avait beaucoup aim le tord-boyaux, mais le travail pas du tout.
Pendant sa jeunesse il avait trs bien jou la flte et son talent tait connu
mme Bucovine. [] Il avait t un jeune homme soign et dgourdi,
mais trs-trs pauvre et un petit flemmard sans pareille. Il senfuissait du
labeur. On disait quil navait jamais trac un sillon comme il faut, creux et
large, quil navait pas su tenir les cornes de la charue; la faux lafaiblissait
aussi vite et lui apparaissait dans la main comme un bton. Il a aim
davantage les activits spcifiques aux femmes: le bchage, porter
quelque chose dun lieu lautre, les semailles. Mais, il paraissait encore
plus heureux dans les cours des matres, chez le notaire, chez le prtre,
linstituteur et mme chez les Juifs dAmaradia et de Jidovia (Rebreanu,
1979: 44).

Les femmes du village Pripas de Rebreanu vivent dans une


communaut traditionaliste, o les hommes dcident leur destin: un
homme fort, travailleur et bon apporte la prosprit et un homme
paresseux, maladroit et vicieux rend pauvre la famille. Quoiquelles
reprsentent llment passif et attendent tre lues comme les jeunes
filles la ronde qui restent fches sur le bord les femmes sprent
tre heureuses dans lamour, tant en quelque sorte rebelles pour la
socit conservatrice o elles vivent et cest pour cette raison quelles
seront condamnes. la pauvret comme Zenobia qui sest marie avec
Alexandru Glanetau malgr la volont de ses parents. Celui-ci
napportait que la sombre misre dans la vie de son fils que dans la
sienne. une existence banale sans aucune autre perspective que les
proccupations domestiques du mariage, Laura Herdelea en devient
limage de sa mre. la mort sera porte Ana, la jeune fille plus
sensible et plus assoiffe damour, parce que la vie ne doit pas tre
vcue sans passion. la solitude et aux remords est condamne Florica
la plus belle jeune fille de Pripas , dont la beaut semble tre
maudite, parce quelle lui apporte le malheur et la mort. Savista aime

42

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


aussi, comme elle le sait, dune faon sauvage, mais tant dautant plus
attache au George Bulbuc, pour lequel cette femme va utiliser des trucs
que les deux amoureux, Florica et Ion, nen pensent pas, que le mari
tromp les attrappe et les punisse. Les autres femmes de Pripas ont
compris rapidement quelles vivent dans un monde patriarcal, o le pre
et le mari gouvernent lunivers familial et villageois, o la femme
endure et se tait tel est le conseil de Zenobia pour Ana puise par
les douleurs de naissance.
Lrotique rebrenienne suppose la recherche de la paire, de la moiti
qui accomplisse lme, parce que lamour doit tre compris comme un
instinct vital qui gouverne tous les chemins de lhumanit comme la
faim et la mort . Ion aime Florica mais il ignore l appel
transcendant qui se trouve sous limpratif du devoir fataliste qui
exige entirement son tre: la Terre-Mre. Le destin de ce personnage
masculin de Rebreanu sera circonscrit dans un itinraire fataliste
triangulaire, caractris par les significations des trois verbes: avoir,
aimer, mourir, au milieu duquel les principaux personnages fminins
acclrent le mcanisme de la fatalit, en poussant le hros vers la mort
physique , car ces femmes deviennent linstrument de la punition
svre de Ion ou Toma Pahonu (Muthu, 1993: 73).
Ana une petite fille aux allumettes la recherche dun foyer
Analysant et intgrant ce roman dans certaines typologies, la critique
littraire ne tient pas compte que de la perspective du personnage
principal masculin et ignore le plus complxe de tous les autres, un
personnage fminin. Malgr la socit traditionaliste o elle vit, qui ne
lui permet la complexit psychologique, ce personnnage peut rivaliser
aux grandes hrones tragiques de la littrature universelle. partir du
point de vue de la critique traditionnelle, suivant la classification de
Thibaudet ralise dans Lesthtique du roman, Alexandru Piru introduit
le roman Ion dans la classe du roman passif , en tenant compte du
motif que celui-ci droule une vie celle du personnage masculin qui
offre son nom pour le titre du roman. Mais le critique roumain oublie
laspect actif de loeuvre de Rebreanu qui, par lintermdiaire dAna
Baciu isole une crise (Piru, 1989: 118). La littrature roumaine ne
connat pas la tradition de personnages fminins capables de vivre
tragiquement leur vie, aptes de transformer un chec dans une crise au
niveau de la conscience, parce que ce trait reste lattribut exclussif de
personnages masculins au moins, jusquaux romans de Hortensia
Papadat-Bengescu. Pourtant, dans le monde primitif de ce roman
paysan comme le caractiise George Clinescu dans Lhistoire de la
littrature roumaine ds origines jusquau prsent il y a un

43

personnage fminin si complxe, inclin vers lintrieur, sensible et


lucide et ce personnage est Ana Baciu.
Le premier qui surprend la vocation tragique de Liviu Rebreanu
est Lucian Raicu dans la monographie ddie lauteur, o le roman Ion
est dnomm pope tragique (Raicu, 1967: 94), mme si la
dimension tragique est reconnue seulement chez le personnage
masculin. Le personnage fminin qui vit la passion dune manire si
profonde et illusoire do jaillit le dramatisme de ses expriences est
injustement considr un caractre linaire, gal soi-mme: Ana est
la mme personne faible, soumise aux circonstances, avec la vocation de
la subordination, mme son apparition la ronde, qu la fin, quand
elle se pend. Ana qui apparat la ronde, Ana qui tombe amoureuse de
Ion, Ana qui ne comprend pas dtre la victime dune tromperie, Ana
qui se marie avec le dsespoir en me, Ana qui observe comment Ion
envie Florica, Ana dont la pense de la mort glisse dans lme, Ana qui
se pend dans ltable, puis, aprs sa mort, par la modalit de vivre dans
la mmoire des autres et par la faon dtre oublie par eux Ana reste
la mme et pourtant, chaque fois, elle est diffrente (Raicu, 1967:
301). De cette faon, il y a le personnage fminin gal soi-mme,
toujours faible, hypostase de la victime, qui traverse lespace pique,
tout comme le personnage masculin serait complxe, surpris dans
plusieurs hypostases sociales et ontologiques: Ion le pauvre, Ion le
matre de toutes les terres, Ion le mari, Ion le pre, Ion lamant
(Ilin, 1985: 137).
La jeune fille de Vasile Baciu est un personnage plus intressant et
plus complexe que la critique littraire a soulign et le tragisme de sa
condition sociale nest pas la seule dimenssion de son existence. cause
de la profondeur de ses sentiments et de la complexit abyssale
dostoievkienne de comprendre la mort, le bonheur et lamour, Ana
rvle une complexit affective qui ne caractrise pas la condition
sociale humble de la femme du village de Transylvanie du XIXe sicle
et mme du XXe. la diffrence des autres personnages fminins du
roman Ion, elle montre une vie intrieure active, en passant beaucoup
plus de temps ddans et moins dans la ralit sociale mme.
Conformment au projet narratif, Ana devait tre la jeune fille laide,
mais riche, qui, par sa navet, va dposseder son pre de tous les
terrains pour les apporter comme dot au jeune homme beau, mais
pauvre, Ion Pop Glanetau. Lvolution de la narration, les amples
dscriptions des expriences dAna trahsent une implication spciale de
son crateur, car il offre ce personnage une personnalit complxe qui
dpasse la complxit du protagoniste. Avec lapport conscient de son

44

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


crateur-dmiurge, Ana sorte de la typologie classique de la victime,
parce quelle est une rebelle, un me inquiet la recherche du bonheur
et de laccomplissement en amour. Elle aime sincrement Ion, qui, aux
yeux de jeune fille solitaire et malheureuse, prend les dimenssions
colossales du sauveur, comme Ion, qui est simplement cras par les
dimenssions gigantesques de la terre du moins, au dbut du roman,
quand il rve seulement au statut de matre. Ana est impressionne,
attire et cependant effraye par la personnalit de Ion: elle aime comme
le jeune homme la pntre avec ses regards aigus, comme lenchanne
avec ses bras forts, comme lui crase les lvres avec tant de baisers. La
querelle, qui sest passe la ronde entre Ion et son pre, lpouvante
pour les possibles consquences violentes de Vasile Baciu, mais
laltercation entre Ion et George Bulbuc la flatte: le jeune homme aim,
mais prohibit, tant dsir mme pour ce motif, et celui impos par son
pre la revendique. Malgr la peur pour son pre, Ana laffronte, nobit
pas lui et attend entendre les ronflements pour appeler ensuite Ion, qui
passe au chemin en sifflant victorieux. Elle attend avec patience
lapparition du jeune homme, lappelle craintive mais audacieuse,
linvite dans la maison et fait amour avec lui, ct du pre qui dort.
Voil une forme de la transgression, de la violation consciente de la loi
du pre et, en mme temps, de la communaut, qui exigeaient
obissance et soumission! Par cette irrsistible attraction pour la
transgression de linterdiction, Ana devient un personnage tragique, car
la faiblesse se trasforme dans un vrai pouvoir qui la provoque au rve au
bonheur, malgr la ralit.
Gardant les proportions adquates, Ana sapproche videmment aux
personnages tragiques du roman la croise des vents, crit par Emily
Bronte, o les deux amoureux sont condamns vivre une passion si
puissante qui consomme entirement leur me. Pour cette typologie de
personnages, lamour est plus proche de la mort que de la vie. Georges
Bataille analyse lhistoire damour vcue par Catherine et Heatcliff et
surprend la dissolution de toute limite entre la vie et la mort:
Lrotisme est, jen pense, lapprobation de la vie jusqu la mort. La
sxualit implique la prsence de la mort, pas seulement parce que les
nouveau-ns continuent et remplacent ceux qui ont disparu, mais aussi
parce quelle met en jeu la vie de lindividu qui se reproduit (Bataille,
2008: 12). Comme Michel Onfray souligne dans son tude Le souci des
plaisirs. Construction dune rotique solaire, il sagit d un rotisme
nocturne , tnbreux, qui clbre plutt la mort que la vie, ou la vie
jusqu sa propre abrogation. Ana vit dans la proximit de la mort par
une sorte dattraction irrsistible pour elle; la mort lattire plus au lieu de
lui faite peur, comme lamour pour Ion la consomme et la fait vibrer

45

aussi fortement que leffroi dtre attrape. Dune manire gniale,


Rebreanu a russi surprendre la proximit de lamour et de la mort dans
lesprit de cette femme: plus intense est lamour pour Ion, plus la mort
est proche, ou comme Batalille disait lgard des amoureux du
roman dEmily Bronte: Bien quil sagisse de lrotisme pur (lamourpassion) ou de la senzualit des corps, lintensit est la plus forte quand
la distruction et la mort de lindividu sont impliques. Ce quon nomme
vice est le rsultat de ce profond entranement la mort. Et la douleur de
lamour dsincarne est dautant plus symbolique pour la vrit ultime
de lamour que la mort sapproche et domine ceux que la passion unit
(Bataille, 2008: 13). Lamour-passion et lamour-sensualit animent
triangulairement le hros du tragique story du roman Ion: le jeune
homme aime la terre ds son enfance, pendant la jeunesse il aime
Florica comme une expression de laccomplissement de ltre social qui
veut fonder une famille, ainsi que dans lhypostase dadulte quand il
possde Ana pour obtenir les terrains de Vasile Baciu. Toutes les
femmes ont envie dIon parce quil detient une force qui les magnetise,
en amplifiant le sentiment, la passion et le tragisme jusqu la mort. Ana
et Ion doivent mourir parce quils offrent tout leur corps et leur me
jusqu lannulation dindividus. Quand Ion se consomme, se dissout
dans la passion et lamour pour la terre, Florica nest quun trophe dans
la lutte dautres vanits masculines, Ana est aussi dvore par le dsir
dtre heureuse avec lhomme aim. La vie est impossible et elle se
refuse aux hros touchs par le vice de la passion, de lamour absolu.
Au-dl de la faiblesse physique et la navet, Ana sobstine
actionner dune manire diffrente aux autres: elle est forte et rebelle,
mme si par cette imprudence, au niveau social et humain elle devient la
victime des hommes et de leurs orgueils quelle dfie par un drnier
geste, le suicide. Elle a un esprit fier, tant orgueilleuse comme les
personnages de lcrivain Camil Petrescu qui vivent avec la peur du
ridicule, la diffrence quelle nest pas un intellectuel raffin, avec la
vocation de lanalyse psychologique, mais une femme simple, sans une
ducation livresque. Battue terriblement par le pre, loigne de chez
elle, une besace au dos, envoye chez Ion qui ne lui avait pas donn un
seul signe ds le moment o il a compris quelle est enceinte Ana se
trouve tragiquement entre les orgueils puissants de deux hommes qui
aiment seulement la terre. Ion laccueillit dans une atmosphre glaciale,
il ni la regarde ni lui adresse un simple mot de bienvenue, Pour les deux
hommes, Ana nexiste plus comme une personne, mais seulement la
grossesse de la femme persiste expression de la joie victorieuse pour
Ion et de lhonte et de la victoire du voleur pour Vasile Baciu.

46

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


Malgr lattitude incomprhensible dIon, Ana montre une position
digne, elle ne prie pas et elle ninsiste pas dtre rue chez lui,
quoiquelle sache la punition svre de son pre la rentre. Lme
dAna stait pitrifi par la tristesse au moment o elle voit Ion et
Florica embrasss et pas cause des humilits de son pre. Les coups
violents du pre sont bravement supports, mais la gifle dIon lui
provoque un vrai choque pas ncssairement cause de la duret mais
cause du mpris et de lindiffrence aux yeux de son mari. La douleur
physique est supportable, mais la douleur de lme pas du tout.
Ana est une jeune fille orpheline, qui lui manque lamour maternel,
avec un pre qui laime dune manire particulire, mais la mprise pour
la laideur et la considre couplable dtre vive, pendant que sa mre est
morte. Aussi comme la petite fille aux allumettes, le personnage
dAndersen, Ana est lorpheline totale (Boditean, 2007: 211), parce
que le pre ne peut pas remplacer la mre et, en plus, il fait grandir la
souffrance par ses brutalits. Plus la sensibilit augmente, plus la
vulnrabilit saccrot, parce que, du point de vue motionnel, elle est
reste un enfant, comme Lizuca de loeuvre Le taillis merveilleux, de
Mihail Sadoveanu, qui se trouve la recherche dun foyer . La petite
Lizuca senfuit de la maison-prison (Boditean, 2007: 218) de son
pre mari de nouveau et elle trouve la protection dans la petite fort de
sa pauvre mre morte. Ana aussi projette sur Ion tous ses espoirs de
bonheur et daccomplissement affectif, parce que le foyer signifie
aussi pour Lizuca que pour la jeune fille de Vasile Baciu amour et
protection, lespace intrieur dune maison ainsi que de laffectivit.
Ana prouve une sensibilit impropre pour le monde dur et impitoyable
du village traditionaliste o la femme est apprcie seulement pour son
dot, pour la force de ses deux bras travailleux et pour donner naissance
aux successeurs (Clinescu, 2003: 647). Navement, elle veut se marier
avec le jeune homme aim, mme si le pre fait ce type de choix, elle
veut tre heureuse et veut partir de la maison paternelle en imposant ses
propres conditions. partir de ces aspects analyss, on peut dire que du
point de vue social, familial et affectif, Ana Baciu est prdestine par le
narrateur omniscient la fin tragique:
Elle tait une nature silencieuse et opprime, on dirait que, dans sa vie,
elle tait destine connatre seulement la souffrance. Elle tait grandie
toute seule, dans labsence dune certaine affectivit paternelle carressante.
La mre lavait abandonne sans ailes. Elle se souvenait, seulement comme
en rve, de ses douces caresses jamais rencontres ds lors. Le pre
laimait mais avec un amour capricieux. Elle en avait entendu peu de
paroles bienveillantes; pourtant, en avait souffert beaucoup de coups,
quelques fois, en bon droit, mais plusieurs fois sans aucune raison. Elle ne

47

pouvait pas se lier damiti avec les autres jeunes filles. Son coeur
cherchait un amour dlicat et profond. Lespiglerie lattristait. Mme par
dessus de sa joie, toujours flottait une ombre de mlancolie. Puis, dans Ion
du Glanetau, soudain, elle y avait decouvert tout ce que son coeur voulait.
Il y a quelques mois, ils avaient bavard beaucoup et, pour la premire fois,
elle stait sentie tente. Ds lors, elle se disait toujours que sans lui elle
devrait mourir (Rebreanu, 1979: 107).

Voil le jugement dune jeune fille toute simple, qui vit la


campagne! Le manque de linstruction est cependant compens par une
profondeur surprenante de lesprit et par une sriosit totale des
sentiments, renforcs du manque de frivolit qui lui exige de trater tout
srieusement. labsence dun ami, la solitude la rend vulnerable ainsi
que la disponibilit affctive pour un grand et unique amour va
propulser cette innocente dans les bras dIon, pour lui devenir victime.
En appelant au langage euphmique, Ana complte la galrie classique
des jeunes filles paisibles, qui deviennent les victimes de jeunes
hommes mchants. Sans amour paternel et sans affctivit, la plus
sensible Ana confond facilement les avances dIon, qui domine sa
rpulsion, avec le vrai amour et se donne lui. Elle lui dvoile
rapidement ses sentiments sans sassurer que le jeune homme laime
aussi, parce quelle est assoiffe daffection.
Le tragisme du personnage est cr par la comprhension du
dramatisme de son existence; elle sest vade dun enfer mais elle a
remplace lun par lautre. Une autre vasion nest possible que dans la
mort. Le tragisme des hros antiques est provoqu par la tension cre
entre deux action: devoir impos par la soumission la loi et
vouloir (Mlncioiu, 1978: 89). Le tragisme dAna est rvl aussi
par la mme tension: elle nobt son pre qui symbolise la loi, et
choisit lamour, mais un amour illusoire. Captive entre lintransigeance
du pre qui ne pardonne la dsobissance et la comprhension de
limpossibilit dchapper du malheur quotidien, Ana choisit la
libration par la mort, parce quun vrai hros tragique dabord paie
avec la vie devenue plus insupportable que la mort (Mlncioiu, 1978:
141). Le manque de laccomplissement du fminin rotique ne peut pas
tre compens par le fminin maternel, car Ana est toute ravage, son
coeur est dsert et rien ne peut suppler labsece de lamour. En plus, la
mre voit sur le visage de son enfant les traits de lhomme qui lui avait
dtruit la fortune (le sort), ainsi que le geste du bb de mordre les
bouts est interprte comme une prolifration de la mchancet et de la
cruaut dIon. Si le mal a t dfini comme absence du bien (Saint
Augustin), que peut signifier labsence de lamour? Quand elle

48

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


comprend que personne ne laime, quelle nest quune ombre parmi les
autres, ignore et insulte toujours, la mort devient lexpression de
lvasion. Elle stait enfuie de la maison paternelle et elle va vader
aussi de la maison du mari. Elle ne veut pas et elle ne peut pas vivre
nimporte comment et refuse une existence hypocrite et embrasse la
mort librement choisie (Amry, 2012: 41), lextinction du soimme (Amry, 2012: 87).
Par la comprhension de son enfer existentiel, par la rvolte contre
son destin et aussi par le geste du suicide, Ana devient un personnage
complexe, suprieur. Seulement pour le simple motif dtre un
personnage qui appartient lespace paysan, primitif, on ne doit pas lui
rfuser la complexit et la dimension tragique de son caractre qui
peuvent atteidre la profondeur dautres personnages fminins de la
littrature universelle. Emma Bovary se rvolte contre la vie anoste,
limite par des prjugs et cherche lvasion de lespace conjugal par
ladultre, pour qu la fin, comme un vrai coup de thtre, elle choisit
le suicide. Ana Baciu essaie lvasion de la maison du pre et remplace
seulement lespace, parce que lenfer continue. Anna Karenina semble
avoir aussi la vocation de la souffrance pour lamour: pour une passion
unique, totale, ternel, elle renonce son enfant, la tranquilit et au
confort du foyer, au statut social respectable pour tre avec un homme
qui ne sait, ne peut pas et ne veut rien risquer pour elle; cette
contradiction produit le drame de cette femme qui peut vivre seulement
passionment et pour ce motif elle va embrasser la mort avec la mme
passion. Pour Emma, le suicide est le dernier acte jou aussi pour soimme que pour les autres; Anna Karenina se suicide avec le sentiment
de son erreur, parce quune passionale comme elle aime trop la vie; Ana
Baciu ne peut plus vivre et sabandonne avec la mme passion aux bras
de la mort comme lavait fait une autre fois dans les bras dIon. La
pense du suicide lattire en avant du drame vcu avec Ion en qualit
dpouse, au moment o elle attend Ion venir la voir, et ensuite, enceinte
et craintive, quand elle ne comprend pas le silence du jeune homme. La
jeune femme prouve une inclination vers la mort , manifeste par un
gotropisme , mais aussi une d-clinaison de la vie et de ltre
(Amry, 2012: 91). Le gotropisme se superpose un aquatropisme qui
apparat souvent dans lvolution tragique du personnage, par une
attraction fatale vers les eaux qui l appellent :
La distance et labsence dIon dchiraient son me. Elle disait soimme que peut-tre il fuit elle, parce quil ne laime plus. Alors, soudain,
elle perdait tous les espoirs et les penses de la mort lenvahissaient.
Surtout aprs le rencontre avec Ion sur lancien chemin, quand il ne lui
avait rien dit, quand il ne lavait embrasse, mme sils taient tout seuls

49

les noires penses commenaient la matriser plus souvent. Le jeudi, quand


elle portait des oeufs, des volailles, du fromages et dautres laiteries la
fte hebdomadaire dAmaradia, laube, en traversant le chemin auprs
Some, par-dl Jidovia, elle sarrtait toujours avant le barrage et
regardait avec intensit le dsordre des eaux profondes tout comme on
dirait quelles appelaient. Quest-ce quelle peut encore attendre de la vie,
si le bien-aim labandonne? Les bruits des vagues qui se tortillaient
fougueusement, en tumultes mugeants, lembrassaient avec des sons
assourdissants, et teindaient tous ses espoirs. Elle chancelait aux pids. Elle
croyait quencore un peu penche, elle glisserait dans la bouche de la mort o,
dans un instant, toutes les souffrances finiraient (Rebreanu, 1979: 108).

Analogue dautres symboles lmentals, leau a aussi des


significations contradictoires; dun ct elle ranime et fertilise, et dautre
ct il suggre limmersion et la dcadence du coucher du soleil ,
pendat que les eaux tumulteux des rivires, par la suggestion de la
spirale, envoient deux modalits de mouvement, aussi de lintrieur
lextrieur, que de lextrieur lintrieur, en symbolisant
plastiquement les difficults et les renversements de situation
(Biederman, 2002: 27), parce quelles sont le signe du mal et du
chaos (Chevalier, Gheerbrant, 1994: 117). Ana entend les voix de
lamour et de la mort, comme Ion est sduit par les appels de la terre
et de lamour, do rsulte un trait essentiel de lcriture de Rebreanu,
une remarcable plasticit (visuelle et auditive) (Raicu, 1967: 297).
Loue des personnages est sensibilis par des appels et des voix
subtiles dont ils ne peuvent pas rsister; quand Ana donne naissance
Petrior, Ion est sensibilis seulement pour un instant, parce que le
visage beau, mais triste de Florica, apparat pour le gronder, et il
regagne immdiatement lindiffrence. Ana est en mme temps attire et
effraye par la mort que par lamour. Le jeune homme se tortille
entre le dsir davoir de la terre et le dsir dpouser Florica, entre lros
transcendant et celui terrestre, pendant quAna sent ses troubles
entre la vie et la mort. Pour Ion lamour mne la mort, pour Ana, la
passion est synonyme avec la vie mme, en temps que labsence de
lamour la portera la mort. Les deux personnages, Ana et Ion, se
rapportent et exprimentent diffremment lamour et la mort. Au
moment au les deux attractions seront t superposes, fatallement, Ana
naura aucune alternative. La mort lui apporte aussi le paix que la
libration dune vie sans amour et sans espoir. Llment htonian et
celui aquatique sont des reprsentations symboliques du fminin
rotique, dans les trois hypostases connues dans le roman maternelle,
virginale et chimrique pour Ion et seulement un fminin maternel

50

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


pour Ana qui rencontrera le repas et lamour, inconnus dans la vie, dans
ltreinte sincre et totale de la mort. Couvertes dun animisme
specifique, les feuilles du pommier, sous lombre duquel Ana avait
donn naissance, elles trembleront bruyantes quand, aprs le suicide de
la pauvre malheureuse, Ion et Florica y feront amour, parce que le
pomme est le fruit dHra qui protge le fminin dmtrique. Comme un
exemple du plus, la terre et Ana tremblent en mme temps loue des
mots indiffrents et durs dIon qui lui dit que sa mort va le rendre libre.
Et leau apparat de nouveau avec son attraction chimrique, morbide:
Ana frmit. Elle sarrta une seconde pour respirer. La terre tournait et
se balanait comme branle soudain de ses fondementes. On dirait que
leau trouble et nausabonde de tout lheure stendait partout, en
menaant de larracher et de la jetter dans le tourbillon sans fond. Elle
tendra les mains pour chercher une protection qui la dfende de
lenvahissement. Elle voulut appeler au secours et ses lvres murmuront
dseperes (Rebreanu, 1979: 346).

Leau empreinte avec son isomorphisme les moments significatifs


de lvolution de la tragdie du personnage fminin; elle est une
constante, symbolisant lvasion de la vie tourmente mais dautant plus
l abyssal de lme dAna, ses tnbres et ses profondeurs. Dans Le
dictionnaire de symboles, les auteurs mettent en vidence laspect dual,
ambivalent de leau, parce quelle signifie ce quil est abyssal : dans
lalchimie chinoise, elle voque le retour ltat primordial
embryonaire , dans la tradition hbraque, elle est mre mais aussi
source [] qui gnre la vie et la mort, crative et destructive
(Chevalier, Gheerbrant, 1994: 109). Aprs la ronde, Ana voit Ion et
Florica embrasss et elle attend en vain un message du jeune homme,
devenant triste et malheureuse jusquau point de se sentir attire,
appele par des eaux de Some; enceinte, avant dtre brutalement
battue par son pre, pendant la lessive dans leau glace de la rivire,
le regard se baignait perdue dans leau qui sbattait ses pieds, tantt
tentente comme des murmures damour, tantt menaante comme un
ennemi assoiff de vengeance (Rebreanu, 1979: 176). Quand Ion
envie Florica avec lindcence de celui qui nest contraint par
aucune liaison sociale ou sentimentale et regarde la femme mari
maintenant un autre comme si elle taitt la sienne, Ana ne sent plus de
douleur, mais seulement une honte terrible lui faisait brler lme
parce que tous les autres la voient humilie... (Rebreanu, 1979: 345).
bientt, la honte se transforme en rpulsion, une rpulsion viscrale,
une nause qui ltouffe comme une eau tourmente qui se prcipiterait
vers elle, non pas menaante, mais libratrice:

51

Et, peu peu, la honte se mtamorphosa dans une nause touffante. On


dirait que tout le monde se noyait dans quelque sorte deaux troubles, si
sales que seulement la nause flotte sur elles comme un liquid vnneux.
Mme aux yeux serrs, elle pouvait pourtant voir incessamment leau vers
laquelle une main lourde la poussait comme vers un refuge qui nettoie les
traces et les regrets (Rebreanu, 1979: 345).

Le dgot physique de Ana semble compltement diffrent de la


nause mta-physique de Sartre, mme si tous les deux sentent une
aversion contre leffort du ex-sistere (Amry, 2012: 88). Lexistence
accable du vergogne et du mpris de lhomme aim est plus difficile
que labandon aux bras affectueux de la mort. En appelant aux trmes de
la psychanalyse freudienne, pour ces individus avec une disposition
pour la mort , la compulsion de vie spcifique aux tres vifs devient
compulsion de mort . Leau et la nause empreintent fatallement le
destin dAna quils prcipitent vers la mort, apparue dabord comme un
dsir secret puis comme une attraction qui promet la paix attendu, pour
qu la fin elle devienne un appel irrsistible:
Ds le mariage de George Bulcuc, dans lme de Ana se fixait une
nause paisante pour tout ce qui tait autour delle. Les jours semblaient
sans fin et troubles, comme leau qui lavait tente alors dont lodeur tait
reste dans les narines comme une tentation. Elle sentait toujours comme
lui le manque de quelque chose et elle dsirait de plus en plus fort un repos
total. Souvent, elle sarrtait perdue, les bras morts, les yeux ailleurs,
personne voir, rien entendre (Rebreanu, 1979: 351).

La mort possde peu peu lme dsert et lesprit plus absent de


cette pauvre femme qui ne trouve aucun appui dans un monde dont elle
nappartient plus, ainsi que les suicids Avrum et Dumitru sont les
seules figures qui hantent son coeur. La corde quelle tend avec
mticulosit apportera le repos pour Ana et non pas leau. Au milieu de
la vie qui scoule indiffrante prs delle, la femme met fin la sienne.
Son geste nest ni attitude ou rvolte bovaryque, ni action punitive, mais
reprsente un geste symbolique de comprhension profonde et
dacceptation de son destin. Les chemins quotidiens entre chez soi et la
maison du pre symbolisent la cherche dun aide. La maison de son pre
est le lieu denfance, o elle est apparue au monde et pour ce motif elle
se sent proche de ltat de lincr, de lutrus maternel, en sentant avec
plus dintensit le dsir de se reposer, de calmer toute douleur et de
surmonter la souffrance qui a dtruit son coeur. Avec objctivit, elle

52

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


visualise la chambre o autrefois elle avait emmen Ion et, tremblante
dhorreur, se souvient les nuits quand, au prsence du pre endormi et,
dfiant lautorit paternelle, elle stait abandonne dans les bras de
lhomme qui en avait profit. Tout ce quelle avait refus dy voir,
maintenant en devient clair et les objets de la maison sont anims, en lui
reprochant lerreur:
Elle contemplait lintrieur de la maison comme si elle lavait vu pour la
premire ou la dernire fois. Rien ntait chang. Le lit, la table, les bancs,
la chaise, le placard avec la vaisselle, le seau deau, la lampe pendue au
plafond... Tout cest comme depuis toujours. Seulement le four paraissait
plus noir, avec sa grande bouche, sans fond... En contemplant le four, une
flche lui passa par la tte et tout coup on dirait quelle tait tourne en
temps sur une voie pineuse... On dirait quil faisait nuit noire... La pierre
froide chatouille la plante du pied quand elle monte sur le four et le coeur
lui bat si fort quelle semble lui craser les ctes... Elle monte doucement
pour ne dchirer sa chemise et pour que son pre, qui ronfle ivre dans le lit,
ne se rveille pas... Il fait chaud dans le lit... Une main ttonne, atteint
lgrement la cheville et elle sait quil sagit de la main de Ion dont les os
craquent quand il monte et sallonge prs delle... Son coeur bat toujours...
Comme il bat!...
Puis, soudain, elle tremble et, en revenant soi, se souvient, sans
connatre la raison pour laquelle aprs le mariage, Ion est devenu le
meilleur ami de George, quil allait souvent chez lui, que tous les deux se
consultaient toujours, quils buvaient ensemble la gargotte et toujours
ensemble ils couraient les rues de Jidovia..., do savait-elle tout ces
choses? Elle nen a aucune ide, mais elle sait certainement... quelquun lui
avait dit... Ion aussi avait dit Zenobia, se vantant et loueant George...
Et alors elle et limpression que la bouche du four souvre de plus en
plus et sapproche (Rebreanu, 1979: 353).

La scne du suicide dAna surprend le contrast entre latmosphre


de printemps avec la lumire vive du soleil et lapparence dprie de
la femme qui semblait tre le dsespoir mme . Comme si elle tait
sortie de soi-mme, comme si elle stait loigne completement de son
corps et de sa vie, la femme actionne mthodiquement, sans hte, en
regardant autour delle et contemplant les dtails. Il y a un dernier essai
de la vie de gagner la lutte contre la mort, mais lapparition spectrale et
grotesque dAvrum pendu ne lui fait plus peur, mais au contraire
lappelle avec bienveillance. La suggestion auditive dun appel
rapparait, mais cette fois il sagit de lattraction de la mort, aussi
magnetique que lamour-passion. Les personnages du roman objectif
sont les victimes du destin impos tiraniquement par le crateurdmiurge: Ion rate lhypostase de pre ds la naissance de son fils par

53

lapparition imaginaire de Florica triste, en tant pouss vers


lachvement tragique de son destin souhait par le narrateur; Ana a
aussi une disposition mlancolique maladive ds lenfance, provoque
par la perte de sa mre, agrave par les violences du pre et labsence de
lamour du Ion, de sorte que le suicide nest que la seule voie de son
destin. Lopposition intrieur/extrieur est double par lantithse entre
la mort et la vie: dans ltable, Ana prpare la scne de la mort, pendant
quen dehors, la vie palpite, indiffrente nimporte quelle tragdie
personnelle. Toute calme, doucement et tranquillement , Ana fait de
grands efforts pour arranger la scne qui lui assure la sortie de la vie o
elle nest quune morte vivante. Cependent, elle ne prpare une scne
thtrale pour leffet visuel des spectateurs comme Emma Bovary
mais, comme elle a choisit courageusement dans la vie lamour,
maintenant au seuil de la mort, elle choisit une fois de plus la modalit
de partir. Elle est un esprit libre cause des choix faits, parce que
choisir tait lapanage exclussif des hommes dans cet univers
humain et social traditionaliste. Seulement au moment de la
comprhension de linvitabilit de la mort, elle ft terrifie et elle
voulut atteindre la terre et senfuir de la mort . Mais la mort, comme la
terre pour Ion, reoit les traits rotiques dun amant; ros et Tanatos
sembrassent encore une fois de plus dans une exprience plus intense
que la vie ne peut pas offrir:
Puis un frisson fourmilla tous le corps. Elle sentit un plaisir terrible,
enivrant, comme si un amant bien attendu lavait embrass avec une
sauvagerie meurtrire... Essayant de crier, elle ne russit que rler touffe
deux fois... Elle samollit, en laissant le corps pendu lgrement. Comme
un flash, lui parurent la nuit, le four, la douleur, le plaisir... (Rebreanu,
1979: 356).

Elle sabandonne avec la mme passion aux bras de la mort quaux


bras de la passion, dIon. Elle est une passionne qui ne peut pas vivre
nimporte comment, elle naccepte une vie anoste, sans aucun horizon,
sans amour et respect, et pour ces motifs, elle choisit la mort. Elle quitte
la scne de la vie o elle est dj morte avec la mme audace, en
dfiant lesquels lavait humilie. La jeune fille riche, mais laide et
malheureuse, a apport les terrains celui quelle avait tant aim et se
retire parce quelle ne peut plus vivre sans son amour. Le couple de la
riche jeune fille, mais belle, en ce cas, et le jeune homme pauvre sera
rhabilit plus tard dans la littrature roumaine par Marin Preda, dans le
roman Les Moromeii. Polina nacceptera pas lhypostase de la femme
impuissante avant le pre et le frre abusifs et elle prendra en possession

54

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


la terre et ses fruits qui lui sont ds, sans tre intimide par leurs
menaces. Ce couple est uni par lamour qui lui offert de la viabilit.
Une Hlne ou une Isolde du XXe sicle dans le village Pripas?
Florica vit la tragdie de la jeune belle fille, mais pauvre, dont
loffre est limite en tous les aspects. En plus, on dirait que la beaut
nest pas son alli, mais, au contraire, la fatalit conduit son destin vers
lchec. Elle est une Hlne du XXe sicle, aim par un Paris de
lespace rural qui nassume ni le risque de lenlever ni de se marier avec
elle, mais labandonne pour une jeune fille laide, mais riche. Comme le
personnage fminin de lIlyade, la fille de la veuve du Maxim Oprea
parcourt lespace pique du roman austre et non pas arrogant
(Creia, 2009: 64), parce que les deux femmes exprimentent un amour
malheureux, qui apportera seulement la mort et la souffrance aussi pour
elles-mmes que pour les autres. Les deux femmes belles mais
malheureuses sont clbres non pas pour la grande posie de lamour,
mais pour celle de la douleur (Creia, 2009: 64). Florica est la femmetroph, dsire par les jeunes hommes du vilage, mais vite cause de
la pauvret. Si Hlne est la femme dmterrienne, oblige de passer,
cause de la beaut irrsistible, du patronage de Hre celui
dAphrodite (Boditean, 2013: 28), Florica reste la femme vnusienne,
mme si elle entre dans lespace dmterrienne. Elle aime pourtant Ion
qui exerce une force datraction et de domination puissante, ainsi quelle
trompe son mari. Tout comme Isolde, le fminin rotique pur ne
reconnat pas ladultre et ne ressent pas le remords (Boditean, 2013:
28). Florica reprsente lhypostase vnusienne par la beaut
extraordinaire, elle prouve lrotisme avec Ion, mais elle ne connat pas
laccomplissement spirituel dans lespace intime ni avec lui, ni avec
George. Ion et Florica veulent la ralisation rotique dans le couple,
mais la ratent cause du projet narratif de lcrivain qui a dautres
intentions avec ses personnages: En fait, lentier roman, ainsi comme
Rebreanu a conu, en laissand parler successivement la voix de la terre
et la voix de lamour est une preuve du retour invitable. Ion revient
Florica, attir par une force plus puissante que lamour pour la terre et
meurt cause de cette dernire passion, accablante. Au niveau dune
haute conscience de soi-mme, dans lexprience intrieure du hros, le
temps prend une forme circulaire, parce quaprs tout le tourment de son
existence, il finit par revenir au point do il est parti
(Crohmlniceanu, 1984: 39). Non seulement Ana est abandonne par
Ion, mais aussi Florica qui, malgr sa beaut, reste clibataire un ge
considr critique dans cette communaut. Dans lespace conjugal,
elle ne connat pas lamour avec George Bulbuc et les assauts dIon

55

qui laime encore lui font plaisir et lui offrent une nouvelle oportunit
daccomplissement du fminin rotique.
En ce qui concerne Ion, on sait quil a hrit lassiduit de la mre,
mais au sujet de Florica on apprend seulement quelle est trs belle et
aussi que la mre est veuve. Une veuve pauvre cause du manque de
sagesse, qui a russi gaspiller toute la fourtune amasse par son mari
travailleur et sage, ainsi que sa jeune fille na aucune dot. La mre de
Florica est la paire de linsens Alexandru Glanetau, tous les deux
devenant lincarnatio mme de la faiblesse, du gaspillage, de lindolence
et du manque de sagesse et dequilibre intrieur. Du point de vue de la
socit primitive, la veuve symbolise labsence de lhomme dans sa
qualit sacr de pilier de la maison . La fortune gaspille symbolise la
perte des qualits caractristiques du fminin, en mme temps que le
mari est mort. Lhomme comme individu et tout ce quil reprsente sur
le plan ontologique disparaissent. partir de cette perspective, la terre
comme symbole de la fminit devient strile, dans une certaine mesure,
comme dans le mythe babylonen qui voque la descente lEnfre de
la desse Itar en suivant son mari. Ntant pas une desse, cette veuve
ne peut quattendre le rencontre de son mari et tout comme dans le
mythe mention, tout ce quelle matrise prisse. Il nest peut pas tre
insignifiant le fait que Florica rpte le drame de la mre et elle reste
aussi veuve cause de la passion irrationnelle dIon et cause de sa
faiblesse. Ion et Florica sont condamns par leurs parents la pauvret,
lisolement dans la communaut et au malheur. Un Ion riche et une
Florica belle aurait tre le couple parfait, mais alors manqueraient la
dimension tragique et la complexit des expriences.
tre ct de Florica la fille de la veuve de Maxim Oprea dont la
compagnie la ronde tait tant dsire et souhaite pour sa beaut et son
intelligeance, malgr la misre noire rend heureux tout jeune homme
du village Pripas. Lcrivain aime les fortes antythses et pour ce motif
on trouve dans la mme page les portraits dAna en la regardant
comment elle se balanait en marche, comme une roseau malade, faible,
chtive, (Ion) sentit un frisson et un regret et de Florica: Quand il
vit Florica, le visage vermeil, roubicond et souriant, en sapprochant
agile comme une tentation, tout tourment dispart de son cur
(Rebreanu, 1979: 50). Et voil lexplemplification de la faon de se
reflter de ces deux femmes dans le coeur de Ion:
Il navait pas aim Ana et maintenant il ne savait pas sil laimait ou
non. Pourtant il avait aim Florica et, chaque fois quil la voyait ou se
souvenait delle, il sentait laimer encore. Il portait dans lme son rire

56

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


doux, ses lvres pleines et humides, ses joues dlicates comme la pche,
ses yeux bleus comme le ciel de printemps. Mais Florica tait plus pauvre
que lui, et Ana avait tant de terrains, et de maisons, et beaucoup de
bestiaux (Rebreanu, 1979: 19).

Afflige par la mort dIon, une vraie statue de la soffrance, Florica


semble tre plus belle, ainsi que, trouble, George tourne soudain vers
la porte suivit par les gendarmes en cachette . Le juge est aussi
imprssion par la beaut particulire de cette femme et, de mme
faon, quiconque la voit est troubl par ses yeux bleus. Ion et George et
mme Titu Herdelea sentent lattraction magntique que la beaut
unique de Florica exerce. Mais cette jeune fille nest seulement belle,
mais aussi pleine de compassion: quand Ana est battue avec bstialit
par le pre impitoyable, Florica oublie leur rivalit et annonce la famille
de Herdelea et les villageois pour sauver la pauvre victime. Elle aime
avec dignit, souffre quand Ion lignore la ronde et danse avec Ana,
mais les autres ne voient que les yeux bleus tristes. Comme Ana, elle
aussi devient une mise pour la satisfaction des orgueils masculins.
George sintresse elle non pas pour la beaut extraordinaire, ou pour
affliger Ion, mais pour arrter les tentatives dun jeune homme qui, sorti
du service militaire, voulait aussi devenir le leader des gars du Pripas et
voulait pouser Florica. Pour George, elle est la femme-troph qui fait
attenuer lorgueil bless par le refus dAna et par laffront davoir
accept Ion. Florica montre un bon sens spcifique au monde
traditionaliste, o le comportement ostentatif est condamn. Elle aime
Ion jusqu la fin, mais ne cesse dtre un membre de cette communaut.
vingt ans, toute seule, Florica se sent dj vieille, et le risque de rester
sans poux et isole au sein de la communaut rurale lffraye; en plus,
Ion est mari avec Ana et la passion prouve par celui-ci est devenue
plus incomode que flatteuse. Quand George la demande au mariage:
Florica fondait de bonheur. Elle navait jamais espr la fortune dtre
lpouse du fils dun paysan riche comme Toma Bulbuc. Parce quelle
avait lge de vingt ans et seulement quelques vtements, elle ny avait pas
du dot, elle avait abord heureusement nimporte qui seulement pour
fonder sa famille (Rebreanu, 1979: 344).

Lcrivain nest aussi gnreux en ce qui concerne lanalyse des


tats dme de Florica, mme si les gestes et son comportement sont
suggestifs pour contourer son profil psychologique et moral. la
ronde, elle reste triste quand Ion danse avec Ana, mais la tristesse est
discrte et digne; les yeux en larmes, elle souffre et lui reproche de
saccrocher Ana comme ltalon aprs les juments et aussi Te

57

couvre du ridicule pour lpouser (Ana) ; elle rougit de honte quand


Zenobia la trouve dans les bras dIon. Florica est une jeune fille sensible
et quilibre, profondement blesse par le comportement duplicitair du
jeune homme et souvent ffraye et honteuse de ses gestes ostentatoires.
Du point de vue de cette jeune fille, les actions de Ion sont
contradictoires: la quitte pour une autre jeune fille, laide mais riche, en
temps quil ne rennonce pas son amour et lembrasse passionnment
en lui disant davoir reste la reine de son coeur, puis il laisse Ana
enceinte, pouse la pauvre victime, mais pendant les noces, il danse avec
la belle Florica quil regarde comme un sauvage. Ni mme aprs le
mariage de Florica avec George, Ion ny rennonce pas et il a les mmes
regards sauvages et passions. Tout comme Ana, Florica na pas le
pouvoir de sopposer cette force, au magntisme sexuel de Ion qui sera
fatal pour lentier triangle rotique. Si au fond de son coeur, Ana
oscillait entre une exaltation injustifie, dsespoir et une nause totale
aussi physique que mtaphysique , Florica vit sans cesse une tristesse
profonde, avec de rares moments de joie, pour qu la fin elle devienne
lexpression de la douleur mme.
Aprs lopinion de la critique littraire, le couple Ion-Florica uni par
lamour-passion si viscral pour le jeune homme et si triste pour la
jeune femme senscrit dans un projet personnel rebrenien, qui nest
pas trangre au mythe de landrogyne, repris dans les romans Adam et
Eve et Ciuleandra. Lhomme et la femme unis par amour rtablissent la
perfection de lunit primordiale et le renoncement ce projet de vie
peut tre puni avec la mort. En plan humain, Ion forme un couple formel
du point de vue social avec Ana et un couple illicite unit par lamourpassion avec Florica, tandis quau point de vue transcendantal, il forme
un couple unique. La vraie, la profonde et la totale union jusqu la
dissolution du soi-mme sera avec lhypostase de la fminit absolue
qui l appelle , a envie de lui, le domine et se laisse domine comme
dans un authentique jeu rotique, jusquau moment de la mort par
ltape dincr le hros sera son gal. Par la mort, le hros transgresse
lespace de la matrialit devenant essence pure, uni avec lessence de
lunivers mme. On trouve la mme attraction irrsistible mais
apparemment sans la nuance rotique dans le pome symboliste La
nuit de dcembre, o lmir qui est jeune, est foudre, est charme et
dieu , mme sil possede toutes les richesses du monde, sent une
attraction si puissante de partir vers Meka qui demande tout son tre .
Un appel aussi fort et tyrannique oblige le hros de traverser la
chaleur torride du dsert meurtrier pour arriver la cit sainte. Lidal
nexiste pas dans le plan de lexistence terrestre, mais la transcende, tout

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THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


comme Ion et lmir latteindent parmi la mort: lun devient lui-mme la
terre si aime, lautre entre dans la cit cleste.
Femina Absoluta et le hros
Gnralement, pour le bon cours de lexistence, les femmes sont
celles qui ont la responsabilit de lquilibre masculin, comme mode de
situation dans lexistence. Elles tirent la mdiane entre laffirmation
individuelle et le retour au soi-mme, entre les rveries de lexcellence
sociale et celles de lintimit, entre le macro-univers et le microunivers (Boditean, 2013: 12). On dirait que les femmes de ce roman
nont pas pu quillibr le hros, mais, au contraire, lont dchir entre ce
quelles reprsentent pour lui: par lintermde de Ana,
laccomplissement du soi archtypal et social par la possession des
terrains et ainsi la recouverte du prestige social perdu,
laccomplissement rotique et masculine par le retour lamour pour
Florica. Par erreur, on a considr quIon nest pas dchir entre les
deux appels au motif que les voix sont entendues tour tour les
titres des parties du roman sont La voix de la terre et La voix de
lamour, vues comme la succession des appels dont Ion est attir.
Cependant, les situations quand Ion oscille entre les deux ples de
puissance sont nombreuses: la terre et lamour, Ana et Florica. La
situation conflictuelle est quand mme rsolue par lintermde du
troisime personnage fminin qui reprsente le Fminin mme, le
fminin pur, transcendant, comme le nomme Julius Evola: La Terre,
Gaia, Ga, Demetra, la Grande Desse, Mater Genitrix, la Mre, la
Vierge, la Prostitue, Durga.
Comme jai soulign dans ltude Mythe et tragdie, fatalit et
chec dans le destin du personnage raliste Ion, par Liviu Rebreanu,
la Terre est un personnage charg de symboles ancrs au mythe et aux
anciennes croyances. Les hypostases prsentes dans le roman la TerreMre, la Terre-Vierge et la Terre-Chimre mnent aux anciennes
reprsentations de llment primordial htonian: mre de tous les tres
par son utrus noir et fertil, mais aussi lespace de la mort. La vie et la
mort sont les deux aspects jumeaux de lexistence entre lesquels le
hros, par son rotisme exacerb, se sent attir, dvor et consomm. La
Terre-Amante se trouve dans le principe vnusien de la fminit
primordiale comme force dissolvante, troublante, extasie et abyssale du
sexe (Evola, 1994: 203). La Terre reprsente lunion des deux
principes, de celui aphroditique avec celui dmtrique, devenant la
fminit totale, absolue, en temps que Ana et Florica sont les faibles
hypostases dun certain type de fminit, inaccompli par la faute de Ion.
Ana natteint ni laccomplissement du fminin rotique, ni le projet

59

dmterrien et se suicide cause de lchec total de sa vie; Florica rate


dailleurs laccomplissement du fminin rotique que celui dmterrien,
avec Ion mais aussi avec George. En suivant les lois rituelles, Ion
sacrifie lamour de Florica pour lamour de la terre et sacrifie aussi Ana
en profitant de sa navet et de ses sentiments pour lamour de Florica.
Du point de vue ritualique, le sacrifice a un double aspect, lgitime et
illgitime, public et presque cach (Girard, 1995: 7) et cette
ambivalence transforme la violence sacrificielle en violence criminelle.
la suite de ses plus ardents vux davoir de la terre, Ion transgresse
aussi les lois morales et thiques de la communaut, devenant lauteur
moral de la mort de sa femme. Sincer, rciproque, on dirait prdestin,
lamour de Florica est touff quand il est possible, mais ranim quand
il devient impossible, de sorte que la mort du hros la dtruisse pour
toujours.
Les actions de ce personnage unique dans la littrature roumaine
marquent son destin tragique, mais elles sont aussi spcifiques au hros
civilisateur qui parfois montre un comportement rituel inconscient. Il
matrise et soumet la terre, il apaise le monstre primordial et impose la
loi du Kosmos, mettant en ordre le Chaos. Par ses actions, Gaia devient
Dmter, la Grande Desse qui donne naissance sans poux, en tant
une desse androgyne, est maintenant fertilise par Ion, en se laissant
fconde par un poux quauparavant elle-mme a produit et qui, en
consquence, lui est fils et amant en mme temps (Evola, 1994: 202).
Ion essaye dapaiser les mouvements spasmodiques du monstre, par des
activits qui le recommandent pour lun qui frtilise : il fauche, il
laboure et embrasse passionment la terre. Aux mains dIon, les outils
agricoles deviennent des armes. La faux comme on a dj soulign
dans larticle antrieur, la faux est larme du Marduk et aussi Saturnus
est reprsent la faux la main outil et arme aussi, transforme Ion
dans un hros charg de force et de puissance masculines. Par son action
pntrante, qui renverse la terre et la prpare pour la frtilisation, la
charrue a des fortes significations sexuelles. Ion apparait comme le fils
puis comme lpoux et lamant de la Grande Desse qui lui permet de la
soumettre, de la posseder et de la fconder. Cependant, elle nappartient
au personne, parce quelle est Durga, dont le nom signifie
l Inaccessible . Dans lAntiquit, on avait considrer vierge la femme
qui, malgr les rapports sexuels expriments avec un ou plusieurs
hommes, refuse la liaison et la subordination intime souligne
Evola qui insiste sur le fait que la virginit doit tre comprise comme
une inaccessibilit, comme abyssalit, ambiguit et vasivit de la
femme divine, en constituant son aspect de Durga, en relation avec la

60

THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


caractristique froide qui coexiste avec laspect ardent, mme fascinante
de lessence aphroditique et hratique (Evola, 1994: 205). Dans son
tude, Marija Gimbutas rlve la prexistence des divinits fminines
qui ont t graduellement remplaces par des dits de la virilit
masculine: Les desses parthnogntiques et asexues (nes du soi,
sans laide de linsmination masculine) se sont transformes
graduellement en jeune maries, pouses et jeunes filles, rotises, lies
par le principe de lamour sexuel suivant le systme social patriarcal des
indoeuropens (Gimbutas, 1989: 118). En utilisant linformation cidessous, on pourrait interprter la relation dIon avec la Grande DesseTerre comme une altrnance du pouvoir entre llment fminin absolu,
Durga, la Vierge, qui donne naissance par soi-mme, et la Desse-Mre,
qui est fconde par llment masculin. Attir par les trois hypostases
de la terre la Mre, la Vierge et lpouse le hros est utilis et
assimil en totalit.
La connotation funbre suggre par ce type de relation apparat
dans le chapitre Le baiser, parce que, du point de vue cosmogonique et
ritualique, le Chaos prcde le Kosmos et lordre contient en soi-mme
le noyau du dsordre. En plus, la fonte des neiges permet au jeune
homme de visualiser la beaut de la terre personnifie en vierge qui
dshabille ses vtements. Dans lAntiquit, la nudit fminine tait
considre abyssale et par consquence ltale, de sorte que seulement un
initi aurait pu la contempler et sunir avec elle sans tre tout assimil
on ne doit pas oublier aussi les pisodes de la mythologie grecque o les
mortels qui ont vu, par hasard ou non, les corps saints des desses ont
t svrement punis, mme tus. Ion est appell par la voix de la
terre , la Desse Mre, qui devient ensuite la Vierge, lAmante qui se
laisse possede dans sa nudit abyssale pour prouver la fin quelle
reste lInaccessible, Durga. La connotation ambivalente quon dtache
du symbolisme de la terre la vie et la mort, la fcondation et la
putrfaction est valable aussi pour Ana que pour Ion, parce que la
vie nest que le dtachement des entrailles de la terre, et la mort nest
que le retour chez soi (Durant, 2000: 231).
Le dernier embrassement de la terre deviendra le chez soi si
dsir et si cherch pour Ana et pour Ion qui la si aim, en oubliant la
mre, la bien-aime et aussi le soi-mme. Comme une amante goste et
jalouse, la terre lembrasse pour la dernire fois et le consomme
entirement. Par lintermde de cet amour, unique et total, se ralise
lUnit, ltre Universel, le Fminin et le Masculin, auparavant spars,
redeviennent lUn, La seule paire pour laquelle Ion sacrifie tout, mme
lui, est la Grande Desse, dans un amour qui se trouve au-dl de
lexistence profane et devient une hirogamie sacr.

61

Pour Ion, les femmes de sa vie, Ana et Florica, ne sont que des
substituts iconiques de la terre, dont la valeur il reconnat, parce quil les
utilise comme des repres au long du chemin vers lobtention de lunion
suprme. Elles, les femmes de sa vie, sont les simples expressions de la
fminit, des ombres iconiques de la femme unique. Du point de vue
religieux, Ion est un mystique ou un fidle monothiste qui utilise le
symbole iconique de la femme en hypostase dpouse et damante, loin
de lide banale de virtue et de pch, comme sil est compris par la
mentalit de la communaut rurale chrtienne de la fin du XIXe sicle.
Dans sa dmarche, il se rapporte une seule divinit suprme quil
reconnat relle et eternelle. son tour, la desse lui offre les moyens
ncssaires pour y arriver, pour la connatre et pour la posseder Ana et
Florica, qui disparaissent aprs avoir fini le rle dans lacte mystique de
lunion sacre. pouse et Amante, la Terre Mre amne chez elle son
fidle qui laime depuis toujours avec un amour prdestin.
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Amry, Jean, Despre sinucidere. Discurs asupra morii liber alese (Du suicide.
Discours sur la mort librement lue), traduction de lallemand par Corina
Bernic, dition modifie et soigne par Monica Maria Aldea, Bucarest, Maison
ddition Art, 2012.
Bataille, Georges, Literatura i sacrul (La littrature et le sacr), traduction du
franais par Vasile Savin et Laura Teodor, Bucarest, Maison ddition Rao,
2008.
Biedermann, Hans, Dicionar de simboluri (Dictionnaire de symboles), tomes I
et II, traduction de lallemand par Dana Petrache, Bucarest, Maison ddition
Saeculum I.O., 2002.
Boditean, Florica, Eroica i Erotica. Eseu despre imaginile feminitii n
eposul eroic (LHroque et la rotique. Essai sur les hypostases de la fminit
dans lpos hroque), Bucarest, Maison ddition ProUniversitaria, 2013.
Boditean, Florica, Literatura pentru copii i tineret dincolo de story (La
littrature pour les enfants et les jeunes au de-l du story ), Cluj-Napoca,
dition de La Maison du Livre Scientifique, 2007.
Clinescu, George, Istoria literaturii romne de la origini pn n prezent
(LHistoire de la littrature roumaine ds origines jusquau prsent), ditiontlcopie, Bucarest, Maison ddition Signes, 2003.
Chevalier, Jean, Gheerbrant, Alain, Dicionar de simboluri. Mituri, vise,
obiceiuri, gesturi, forme, figuri, culori, numere (Dictionnaire de symboles.
Mythe, rves, coutumes, gestes, formes, figures, couleurs, numros), vol. IIII,
traduction daprs ldition parrue en 1969, modifie et complte, apparue
dans la collection Bouquins , coordonne par Micaela Slvescu, Laureniu
Zoica, Bucarest, Maison ddition Albatros, 19941995.

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Cournut, Jean, De ce se tem brbaii de femei? (Pourqoui les hommes ont peur
de femmes?), traduction du franais par Daniela A. Luca, Bucarest, Maison
ddition Trois, 2003.
Creia, Petru, Ahile sau despre forma absolut a prieteniei. Ariel sau despre
forma pur a libertii (Achile ou sur la forme pure de lamiti. Ariel ou sur la
forme pure de la libert), avec un avant-propos par Gabriel Liiceanu, Bucarest,
Maison ddition Humanitas, 2009.
Drbu, Carmen, Despre personajul feminin. De la Eva la Simone de Beauvoir
(Sur le personnage fminin. Ds Eve Simone de Beauvoir), Cluj-Napoca,
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Durand, Gilbert, Structurile antropologice ale imaginarului. Introducere n
arhetipologia general (Les structures antropologiques de limaginaire.
Introduction dans larchtypologie gnrale), traduction par Marcel Aderca,
Postface de Cornel Mihai Ionescu, Bucarest, Maison ddition Univers
Encyclopdique, 2000.
Evola, Julius, Metafizica sexului (La mtaphysique du sexe), avec un essai
introductif crit par Fausto Antonini, traduction par Sorin Mrculescu,
Bucarest, Maison ddition Humanitas, 1994.
Gimbutas, Marija, Civilizaie i cultur. Vestigii preistorice n sud-estul
Europei (Civilisation et culture. Restes prhistoriques au sud-est de lEurope),
traduction par Sorin Paliga, Avan-propos et notes par Radu Florescu, Bucarest,
Maison ddition Meridiane, 1989.
Girard, Ren, Violena i sacrul (La violence et le sacr), traduction par Mona
Antoni, Bucarest, Maison ddition Nemira, 1995.
Ilin, Stancu, Liviu Rebreanu n atelierul de creaie (Liviu Rebreanu dans
latlier de cration), Bucarest, Maison ddition Minerva, 1985.
Manolescu, Nicolae, Romanul romnesc modern creaie i analiz n
Istoria literaturii romne. Studii (Le roman roumain modern cration et
analyse dans Lhistoire de la littrature roumaine. tudes), coord. Zoe
Dumitrescu Buulenga, Bucarest, Maison ddition de lAcadmie R.S.R.,
1979.
Marin Curticeanu, Valentina, Critica i modelul (La critique et le modle),
Bucarest, Maison dditure Eminescu, 1986.
Mlncioiu, Ileana, Vina tragic. Tragicii greci, Shakespeare, Dostoievski,
Kafka, (La culpabilit tragique. Les tragiques grecs, Shakespeare, Dostoievski,
Kafka), Bucarest, Maison ddition le Livre Roumain, 1978.
Muthu, Mircea, Liviu Rebreanu sau paradoxul organicului (Liviu Rebreanu ou
le paradoxe organique), Cluj-Napoca, Maison ddition Dacia, 1993.
Onfray, Michel, Prigoana plcerilor. Edificarea unei erotici solare (Le souci
des plaisirs. Construction dune rotique solaire), traduction du franais par
Emanoil Marcu, Bucarest, Maison ddition Humanitas, 2012.
Piru, Alexandru, Critici i metode (Critiques et mthodes), Bucarest, Maison
ddition le Livre Roumain, 1989.
Raicu, Lucian, Liviu Rebreanu, Bucarest, Maison ddition pour la Littrature,
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Sartre, Maurice, Homosexualitatea n Grecia antic n Amor i sexualitate n


Occident (Lhomosexualit dans la Grce antique dans Amour et sexualit dans
lOccident), Introduction par acad. Georges Duby, traduction par Lauremiu
Zoica, Bucarest, Maison ddition Artemis, 1991.
Texte source:
Rebreanu, Liviu, Ion, Bucarest, Maison ddition le Livre Roumain, 1979.

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THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM

Mythical Elements in Lucian Blagas Poetry


Mioara Lavinia Farcaiu
Abstract:
This paper work approaches the issue of mythical, as it is reflected in the
poetic creation of Lucian Blaga. The poet does not conceive poetry outside
mythical thinking because only a mythical thinking penetrates the essence of
things, beyond their logical appearances. Blagas poetry is consistent with the
Romanian folkloric tradition and draws its sap from myth. His lyric illustrates
very well what the poet himself called monumentalization of folk culture
(minor culture) in a major culture. In search for a creative formula, Blaga will
discover expressionism. Mythical motives invented by the poet or not, can be
found throughout his entire lyrical creation. Many of the mythical or folkloric
motives used by Eminescu: the lake, the linden tree, the spring, the forest, the
sea, Blaga has borrowed them directly from the folklore or from Eminsecus
lyrical universe. We can also see that Blagas work contains a great deal of
elements with a rather stable symbolic value; elements that have become
literary motives known in the universal imaginary and have been rebuilt by
Blaga using his own vision of the world. Thus, from the telluric register of the
imaginary, we discover elements like: the mountain, the cave, the wood; from
the aquatic register: the mountain lake, the spring, the fountain, the lake, the
tear; then others linked to the air register: the wind, the bird.
Keywords: mythical, poetry, Lucian Blaga, folklore, culture

The whole lyrical creation of Lucian Blaga is mythically marked,


the poet attributing to himself a mythical mindset. Enlightening in this
regard is the testimony of the poet: I am told that my poetry is mystical,
metaphysic. I do not intend to defend my poetry. My poetry is, apart
from any intention, as it is. That is because usually I cannot conceive
poetry otherwise [...]. I concoct mythical motifs at every step, because
without a mythical thinking, unfortunately or fortunately, no poetry is
created(Ivacu, 1967: 149).
Expressionist poet with metaphysical sensibility, Lucian Blaga does
not conceive, therefore, poetry outside mythical thinking, because in his
view, only a mythical thinking penetrates the essence of things, beyond
their logical appearances. Very well remarked one of the outstanding

Teacher of Romanian language at Elena Ghiba Birta National College of Arad,


lavi268@yahoo.com

65

interpreters of his work, G. Gan: Myth does not participate so largely


to the work setting to no other Romanian writer as in does in the work of
Lucian Blaga. His poetry communicates intimately with myth and,
indifferent to religious function, it allies its elements belonging to Indian
mythology, Greco-Roman, Christian, Romanian (1976: 232).
Before proceeding to the mythical interpretation of Blagas poetry, it
is necessary to dwell on a fundamental concept, the myth and the
auxiliary concepts such as mystery, mythical thought, magical thinking,
etc..
What stimulates Blagas mythical imagination, according to Melania
Livad, is mistery, the lyrical universe and his philosophical system
revolve around it. We can thus say that the mystery is the cornerstone of
the entire work of Lucian Blaga (Livad, 1974: 60). The writer himself
argued that man creates to reveal a mystery. In this context we can say
that his poetry is an adventure of knowledge, an attempt to penetrate
liminary areas, leaving all the mystery untouched (ora, 1970: 22).
Many works were written about myth. In our approach we have as
landmarks Blagas philosophical work along with studies of the history
of religions by Mircea Eliade. It is known that for the man of archaic
societies, the myth designates a true story and more still, very precious,
because it is sacred, exemplary and significant (Eliade, 1978: 1). In fact
the myth is a very complex cultural reality that can be addressed and
interpreted in multiple and complementary perspectives. Myth tells
therefore a sacred history, reports an event that took place during the
primordial fabulous time of beginnings (Ibidem: 54). Those who invent
myths and believe them consider them more authentic than everyday
reality, count them pure unaltered revelation. For modern man, however,
no myth is pure revelation of meaning or transcendence (Blaga, 1943:
347). Metaphorically speaking, Blagas poetry was established as a
modern mythology, which critic Eugen Todoran called modern myth of
poetry. However, we can identify at least three characteristics that
delimit Blagas creation from proper myth; proper myth is impersonal in
relation to its creator, is supported by a large community that sees in the
myths expression its vision of the world. And, last but not least,
genuine myths are considered by people with an archaic mindset as true.
For Blaga, the myth is a metaphor, the expression of the way its
creators represent the world and therefore more true in relation to those
than their object of representation (Gan, 1976: 231). In other words,
for Blaga the myth is the result of a creative act, not of revelation (as the
proper myth). Our poet relates to the myth as poetry and not as religion,
he attaches it to cultural creation, not to faith (Blaga, 1994: 71). As a

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THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


philosopher of art, Blaga says that the myth is by its innermost
structure a product close to artistic creation (Blaga, 1946: 677). Myth
and poetry have distinctive features, but also some common features that
allow contamination. Mythology has always been a major source of
inspiration for artistic creation. Blaga also takes myths whose meaning
is in accordance with internal sources and the meaning of his lyricism.
From Christian mythology, he takes the myth of genesis, in poems such
as Light, Grass, Swallow Nest, The Seventh Day, The First Sunday,
Beginnings, the myth of paradise in Tears, Eve, Legend, To the Readers,
Paradise Fading etc. The myth of Christ is utilized in poems such as
Poppies, Shadow, Pan Singing, Spider, The Hermit, Letter,
Transcendent Landscape, Biblical, Metaphysical Sadness, Carol, Light
from Light, Jesus and Magdalene, Annunciation etc; the myth of the
resurrection of the dead: The Hermit, Everyday Resurrection, Mystery
of the Initiated. From Greek mythology he takes the myth of Pan: Pan,
November, Summer Creatures, Among Colors; the myth of Hades:
Mediterranean Evening, Boundary, Near the citadel, In the Night there
still is; the myth of Orpheus in the poem: Epitaph for Eurydice, Weeping
Willows, Cloud; the myth of Oedipus (Oedipus to the Sphinx), the
Parcae (Water Spring) of Odysseus (Ulysses). Romanian mythology is
also well represented in Blagas poetry: the myth of Zamolxe in poems
like: Zamolxe and Grdite; the myth of transparent earth (The Earth
was Once Translucid), of the unicorn (September, the Unicorn and the
Ocean, Story Incentive, Autumn Sunday, The Pitcher, What Hears the
Unicorn) (Gan, 1976: 232233).
Although new in terms of poetic formula, Blagas poetry is
consistent with the Romanian folkloric tradition and draws its sap from
myth. His lyric illustrates very well what the poet himself called
monumentalization of folk culture (minor culture) in a major culture.
The origins of his creation must be sought in the spirit of heresies, and
the new European style (Expressionism), and has put a deep seal. As
noted in a recent study, critic V. Fanache remarked: Blaga attempts
throughout his lyrical universe, to reconcile rational modernity and
mythical thinking, leaning on a metaphysical foundation of new
substance (Fanache, 2003: 75). Attracted by myths, our poet will thus
make a bridge between archaic mythologies of folk culture and the
modern myth of poetry. He recovered over, as we have seen, ancient
myths, but also created new ones, building a true mythical geography.
From this perspective, we must see in the lyric of Blaga, the way to
adapt to certain archaic mythical structures, into contact with the mother
stratum, by Romanian folklore and not only. And modern poetry is
exactly one of the means of communication with the ancestral Mothers

67

stratum. Deeply preoccupied by traditions, as described by Pavel Bellu,


Blaga has looked for mythical Romanian motifs, which shows a clear
desire of contributing to the shaping of a spiritual mythology (Bellu,
1976: 255). The poet includes in his creation folklore motifs and
rebuilds the ewe background from a modern perspective. Blaga himself
confessed that the resemblances between folklore and his poetry have an
unconscious common ground which is the ewe substance. The space of
the village has always been seen as the space of folklore and of
traditions; the original space which lives in the cosmic horizon and
represents the center of the world. Guided by his mythical vision, its
towards this world full of mysteries that the poet always looks and
walks; its there that hes always anxiously looking for the water that
feeds the rainbow, for the absolute essence of the world. Blaga will
make his this mythical vision of the world, specific to archaic times and
he will use it. (I find mythical motifs at each step the poet used to
say). As a poet, Blaga consider the mythical thinking very important. To
him thinking in a mythical way means to continue the visionary line of
the myth; thinking in a mythological way only means allegorically
dressing your thoughts into mythological, ready-made clothes. The
mythical thinking is almost divination, the gift of feel the depths of life
and to put translate them into icons which represent compressed
abbreviations of great experiences of deep intuitions (Blaga, 1990: 21).
Due to its force of entering into zones that remain inaccessible to
reason, Blaga sees the mythical thinking as a revealing metaphor. Same
as the revealing metaphor, the myth gives significance to things that are
incomprehensible to the world (Livad, 1974: 61). The poet is looking
for the obscure areas, the areas of mystery, where the reason no longer
has power and the meanings can only be intuitive and communicated
to metaphorical level. Seen from this perspective, his creation is an
adventure of knowing and aims at an intuitive and a meditative seizing
of the world and reality. The meaning is expressed through a silent song
and the mind can approach ultimate truths only through myth
confabulation. The critic I. Cheie-Pantea says that for Blaga the poetry
seems to be a universal metaphor, if we take into consideration his
opinions regarding the poetical language, which he considers entirely
metaphorical, even when it does not make use of proper metaphors
(1982: 143). As a consequence of the experiences he has in report to the
mystery of the world, Blaga escapes in myth and metaphor and creates
a world of poetry, a fairy-world (Gana), a world of the beginning
when the light was the only master.

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Blagas poetry arises, thus, form the interior rhythm of the village
life, from the heterodoxy spirit; in its clay he mingles the important
myths talking of another world.
Although considered a traditionalist by some literary critics like
Eugen Lovinescu, Blagas work is a masterly synthesis of modernism
and traditionalism. He succeeded in synchronizing the Romanian forms
of poetry to the European ones. He makes his debut in the century of
modern ism, in the century that brought remarkable innovation to
the European art. Our poet is aware of all that and he makes his debut
under the auspices of expressionism. His first volume from 1919, with
the significant title of The poems of light brings new elements to the
Romanian poetry, mostly in what the repertoire of poetry formula is
concerned. Blagas poetry Eugen Todoran said in his study arose in
the Romanian literature space like an unsuspected volcano (1981: 68).
Blagas poetry has represented from the beginning a unique and
fascinating show, an artistic and exciting adventure because of its
structure and philosophical metaphor content and especially because of
its new artistic formula in the evolution of European poetrys context
(Florea, 2001: 11). In search for a creative formula, Blaga will discover
expressionism in the verses he wrote before The Poems of Light. He will
define it as a fundamental attitude in art, an attitude that as a first
characteristic the tendency to absolute: Every time a thing is rendered
in such a way that its strength, its interior tension surpasses and
transcends it, showing a relation to the universe, we are dealing with an
expressionist work of art (Ibidem). Art, as an expression of human soul,
is not a reproduction of nature, but a magnifying of it, which leads
to more expressivity. The poems in his debut volume are written
according the expressionist program; the title itself is a proof of that.
The returning to the original mythical background, the feeling of
absolute, the vitalism, the Dionysian vision, the spiritualization of the
landscape, the compressed vision of the world are only some of the
characteristics of this volume and of the others to come The steps of the
prophet and In the great Passage. The mythical is one of the
expressionist themes used by the poet; some others are: the
transcendence, the cosmic, the archaic, the Dionysian, the infinite, the
apocalyptical, the Pandeanism, the vitalism. We have to say that the
expressionism, to which Blagas poetry remains linked in its essence, is
a personal poetical formula, born in a different space than the German
one; and it has its roots in the native element and its branches opened
towards the universal metaphysic (Livad, 1974: 181). In other
words, the expressionism is shaped on the ethnical background and the
Romanian cultural style.

69

Returning to the signs of the myth, we want to emphasize the fact


that we can find mythical motives invented by the poet or not
throughout his entire lyrical creation. We can find in Blagas creation
many of the mythical or folkloric motives used by Eminescu: the lake,
the linden tree, the spring, the forest, the sea. Blaga has borrowed
them directly from the folklore or from Eminsecus lyrical universe. We
can also see that Blagas work contains a great deal of elements with a
rather stable symbolic value; elements that have become literary
motives known in the universal imaginary and have been rebuilt by
Blaga using his own vision of the world. Thus, from the telluric register
of the imaginary, we discover elements like: the mountain, the cave, the
wood; from the aquatic register: the mountain lake, the spring, the
fountain, the lake, the tear; then others linked to the air register: the
wind, the bird. All these elements with symbolical value help
forge Blagas poetical space, that realm of legend projected on a
mythical horizon (Pop, 2004: 105106) and these elements are nothing
else than silent faces of the eternity in Blagas lyrical creation
(Fanache).
In what the sense of modernity and abstracting is concerned, Blagas
poetry went through an ascending spiral from poetry with vital
explosion, with prophetic Pandeanism, with emphasis on the outside
sensorial side to a creation of tragic and metaphysical anxiety (Florea,
2001: 26).
The poems of light (1919) have the signs of expressionism,
of Blagas mythical vision even in the title. The poems in this volume
are dedicated to the light, as essential element; the light become
metaphor key to the entire cycle, symbol of knowledge, of love and
genesis. The volumes opens with a confession, the expression of a
belief; the poet speaks about his belonging to the cosmic life and to the
mystery: I do not ruin the corolla of wonders of the world.... The
corolla of wonders of the world is the great corolla of Existence, a
revealing metaphor which represents the entire universe as a sphere
balanced by fragile harmony and by miracle. This poem represents
Blagas first ars poetica, a pragmatic study in which we can find some of
the fundamental pieces we need to define Blagas attitude towards
poetry (Pop, 2004: 16). The light is the most important motif around
which the poem is structured and it has the general meaning of
knowledge; poetical intuitive knowledge (my light), knowledge of the
paradise, logical and abstract knowledge (others light):
The light of others

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THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


strangles the inexplicable spell hidden
in the depth of darkness.
But I
who add with my own light to the magic of the world
and as the moons white rays
not diminishing but trembling
make even greater the mystery of night
so I increase the shadowy horizon
with wide shivers of mystery
(I do not crush the petal cup of magic of the world)

The lyrical motif of light as it appears in the poem with its name
(Light) is a symbol of love, of the tendency towards the absolute, of the
integration in the universal life Life, love and their joy are light
(Livad, 1974: 43). The poem entitled Light is the story of the archaic
myth of the genesis of the world.
The earth, another primordial element, symbol of the telluric, gives
the title of a poem from this volume. The poet asks an answer from the
earth; the earth that is ruthlessly large and deadly silent and seems to
have a secret. He doesnt receive an answer expresses in words, but in a
heartbeat of his beloved:
Silence weighed heavy on the earth
and a question was falling to the bottom of my soul.
Didnt that earth have anything to say to me,
anything at all?
To hear better, uncertain and obedient, I put my ear to the ground
And down in the glebe I heard
the loud beating of your heart.
The earth was answering.
(Earth)

Within the mythological geography configured by the poet, the


durmast (the tree) has a central position. The poem with the same name
brings with it a feeling of death, witch man experiments while sitting
down at the shade of the durmast, immersed into a deep silence. Every
time he is hunted by a sadness and torment, the silence is the state which
comes over him. In his lyrical work, Blaga will develop the motif of
silence giving it a deep meaning. In modern poetry, the word as a
vehicle of meaning can not be conceived outside silence. At our poet
silence gains a value of poetical form and the relationship silence-word
is of an orphic nature.

71

The poem The tears represents a synthesis of the myth of Genesis,


of Mans banishment from the nest of eternity, being then condemned to
ephemerity and threatened by the eternity of death. Other poems, such
as Eve and Legend, artistically recreate the myth of the primordial sin.
The Heart is a witness and a guide to the most important moments
of life. It tells during childhood, it sings during the silence of great
experiences, hidden by the shroud announcing death, it whispers
secretly at the end of life, showing the hidden meaning of existence.
Almost all the lyrical motifs of Blaga appear in the volume The
poems of light, some just traced, while others are well presented, as in
the case of the central motif of light or the one of the tears, of the sacred
tree, of the heart, of silence, etc.
As we get closer to the second volume, significantly named The
Steps of the Prophet, we notice that the vision of the poet is changing,
his attitude is more contemplative, the lyrical voice becomes wholly
individualized. Still, we notice the similar atmosphere of these two
volumes, the Poems of Light and The Steps of the Prophet, both
animated by expressionism. As we come to The Steps of the Prophet, a
new character appears, a poetical symbol of the cycle as the critic
Al. Tnase calls him. Pan, a mythological character, is seen as being
blind and old (in the poem Pan) and he dies hidden in a cage (in Pans
Death). This time, the eye of the poet is drawn to the pagan miracles that
explode in the nature whose master is Pan. Thus, the inner feelings are
transferred to the third person, the lyrism becomes descriptive (Mincu,
1995: 231). In this second volume, the pantheist vision, the
spiritualization of the whole universe, is dominant. The dionisiac vision,
the unleashing of the vitalistic forces have not left the poem of
Blaga.The mythical motifs are quite rare, the one which dominates is the
myth of Pan, its presents is shown to us even from the beginning
(covered by dying leaves on a rock lies Pan/ he is blind and old) and
in the end his death is announced (the Death of Pan)
Starting with the volume In the Great Passage, Blaga introduces in
his lyrical landscape a new motif (also mentioned in the title), the one
related to the great passage. The vitality becomes faded compared to the
troubling questions and of the metaphysical turmoil. The drama of the
human being is presented through not being to express understand the
mysteries of existence. The motif of the great passing presents the
moment of entering eternity, a moment which brings turmoil in the soul
of the modern man who is alienated from spirituality.
Thus, this time, alienation is the word which characterizes the man
in Blagas works, he discovers that everything outside his soul is alien.

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THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


He also feels alienated, far away from the mythical-symbolic horizon of
the village. Thus, the following confession is significant: I have
understood sin which pushes over my house where he admits that
I have interpreted the signs of the time and of the stars / other that the
old woman that melts her hemp the in mere.
The man in Blagas works is now bounded over the questions of
the world, send into the light, as in exile (Letter to Mother). The lyrical
subject becomes a murderer of mysteries and from here comes the
feeling of alienation, the nostalgia of the lost paradise, feeling of turmoil
disease with no face and no name which Blaga calls metaphysical
sadness. The feeling of losing all the landmarks of existence, the curse
of alienation and the punishment of doubt also arise from here. Being
aware of the passing is what leads to elegiac vivaciousness as V. Fanache
mentions it is a spring of song and words, which is if not healing, still
human and profound (2003: 170).
Appearing in light, in the great passing, also means entering the
land of facts that strangle the mystery as words hurt silence and that is
why Blaga wants to remain under the cover of darkness, to sing the
great passing, with words silenced inside the mouth (Biography)
(Cheie-Pantea, 1982: 156).
In the poems of the great passing, we can also see the moment of
crisis, when God is considered to be dying or already dead (an idea of
Nietzsche). Still, there is a way out, there are those redeeming
clearings, which are areas of silence, untouched by the shadow of
perdition. These areas are in a distinctive place, in a mythological
geography which communicates with Marele Tot. The elements that
belong to this mythological geography, from village to mountain or
fountain, take part in the integration of the poet in the great soul of the
ancestors, in recapturing the soul of the village. The Great expressionist
soul is now dimly spreading within the anonymous soul of the village
writes Marin Mincu (1995: 45).
Leaving behind the thought of the great passing, the poet now
praises the divine state sleeping. We can now see another well-defined
motif of Blagas work, the one of sleeping. Sleep becomes in Blagas
poems a refuge from time, an oasis for the soul which is tired and
terrorized by the great passing. As the critic Gh. Florea states, this
volume, Praise to Sleep, is a climax of Blagas lyricism, a complete
victory of his unique and original vision (Florea, 2001: 88). The poems
from this volume create a lyrical universe which is unleashed from
matter [ ... ], an universe with no space and time (Constantinescu,
1967: 279) and, apart from this, it also makes a prodigious ingression in
the infinite world of myth.

73

Coming back to sleeping, as an intermediate state between life and


death, as an aspect of silence, we must mention that in Blagas poem it
acquires new meaning: aspiration to increate, the connection to the
ancestors, etc. Because he hasnt managed to unravel the mysteries of
the world, the poet attempts now to capture them while sleeping, during
this divine state of man.
There are several poems in this volume which speak about the
desacralization of the world (Disintegrating Paradise and
Transcendental Landscape). Here, the mythical world enters the tragic
human sphere and becomes subject to the eternal passing. The two
poems, Disintegrating Paradise and Transcendental Landscape, are
representative for the poets eschatological vision, interpreted as the
destructuralization of the mythical, ideal topos.
With the volumes: At the watershed, In the Courtyard of our desires,
Unsuspected Steps and the posthumous poetry, the poet makes a
comeback to the original sources, courting a poetry of classic essences
(Tnase, 1977: 137). When it comes to form, he recovers the elements
of the traditional prosody (the classic verse) while at the level of the
content he turns the poetic themes and motives into native ones. Finding
himself on the great water divide, Blagas man still carries within
himself the nostalgia for the village from which he had separated as a
result of the disintegration of the mythical conscience. Symbolically
speaking, the Water Divide represents the returning of the flow of the
river to its source, before the river beds were being established. In
Blagas poetic mythos the water divide represents the hesitation on
the path followed during the great passing on the dimensions of the high
above, the physical sky, toward the descent seen as a turn toward the
human condition (Todoran, vol. I, 1983: 251). Seeking the light of
yesterday, the living myth, under yesterdays stars, under that which
has passed, Blagas man meets a contaminated, desacralized world. In
this world, man is ill, stone is ill/ tree is withering, hearth is
disintegrating, while the ill minstrels reenact the presence of the lepers
from the previous volume. Entering through hidden lanes the court of
yearning, we notice that a subtle peacefulness lays on yearnings and
unsolved mysteries, on the disintegrating world from the previous
volume. Only the yearning after the lost paradise, the wondrous world of
childhood, still flows through the soul of the one that is lost at the great
water divide.
In the Romanian folklore, the Courtyard of our desires is a phrase
corresponding to the tendency of localizing on earth abstract
representations, after they were being shaped into concrete images. In

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THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


folk songs about yearning, the court of yearning is a place where the
unwritten loves rest and this is why they cannot be forgotten.
According to the literary Eugen Todoran, in Blagas poetry, the courts
of yearning are the symbols of nostalgia after the transcendent,
symbols correlated with the great passing toward an imaginary land,
opening toward a new vision (Ibidem: 254). Since the moment of its
publication, the volume In the Courtyard of our desires has been seen as
marking a turning point in the evolution of Blagas lyrical work. The
book uses an increased number of mythical and folk motives such as the
unicorn, the suns heaven, the well, the fir, and so on, and not in the last
place of the folk verse. The village is now the place of miracles,
preserving the unseen presence of a god.
Time is no longer time, but it is imbued with the presence of the
myth as proven by Danubian roosters announcing from the fences/ the
long Sunday which will never see its evening (The village of wonders).
Mounting the unsuspected steps, the poet from Lancrm ends up
praising his native village, the village of tears beyond cure, chosen by
himself or by God as the worlds threshold/ and the passions path
(May 9, 1895). Mans eyesight returns once again toward nature, toward
the world of the village, filled with mythical symbols, leaving behind
the melancholic unrest from the previous volumes.
In the poems of this new volume, the relationship the world I finds
once again its balance. This is confirmed, among other things, by the
way in which the recovered space is portrayed, that is, as a paradise sui
generis (i.e., unique). This spiritual cosmos becomes imbued by
biography and humanizes its emblems without renouncing to integrate
the images into the mythic horizon of the natures great story, legend or
fable (Pop, 2004: 144).
Silence, seen as an element of a fundamental opposition in the
structure of Blagas cosmos, does not exclude the word. It neither
ignores the word nor does it reduce the word to nothingness. On the
contrary, it takes into account its existence and it even assumes it
implicitly (Cheie-Pantea, 1982: 149). The poet favors a fruitful silence,
an essential one from which an entire world is born.
The mythical topos, which has been shaped, starting from the first
volumes, preserves, thus, its fundamental symbolical values. The poet
feels more than ever a solidarity with the beings ephemeral condition
and their fragile nature, as well as with an eternity watched over by the
spirit contemporary with the butterflies, with God (Song for the year 2000).
The posthumous poetry comprises five cycles, among which four
were established by the poet himself: The Age of Iron, Ships with Ashes,
The Song of Fire and What does the unicorn hear. The last one, entitled

75

by the editor, is called The Wondrous Seed, eponymous with one of the
poems in the volume. The theme of love dominates this poetry as love
opens up large circles of knowledge while the initial symbols gain, in
the end, new meanings (Simion, 1997: 124). At the same time, the
verses in The Age of Iron distinguish themselves by carrying similarities
with the messianic dimension characteristic of the old poetry from
Ardeal (Transylvania).
Going through this world created by Blaga, this myth producing,
Orphic framework, the ideas lose their first meaning. Something from
their existential intensity is lost, but what is being lost at this first level
is being recovered, tenfold, at the last level there where ideas are
hovering about the myth (Ibidem: 161).

REFERENCES:
Bellu, Pavel, Lucian Blaga, n marea trecere (Lucian Blaga, in the Great Passing),
Bucharest, Eminescu Publishing House, 1976.
Blaga, Lucian, Geneza metaforei i sensul culturii (Methaphore Genesis and
the Meaning of Culture), Bucharest, Humanitas Publishing House, 1994.
Blaga, Lucian, n marea trecere (In the Great Passing), Bucharest, Eminescu
Publishing House, 1975.
Blaga, Lucian, Trilogia cunoaterii (The Trilogy of Knowledge), Bucharest, Royal
Foundations Publishing House, 1943.
Blaga, Lucian, Trilogia valorilor (The Trilogy of Values), Bucharest, Royal
Foundations Publishing House, 1946.
Blaga, Lucian, Zri i etape (Horizons and Stages), Bucharest, Minerva Publishing
House, 1990.
Cheie-Pantea, Iosif, Palingeneza valorilor (Palingenesis of Values), Timioara,
Facla Publishing House, 1982.
Constantinescu, Pompiliu, Scrieri (Writings), vol. I, Bucharest, Literature
Publishing House, 1967.
Eliade, Mircea, Aspecte ale mitului (Aspects of the Myth), Bucharest, Univers
Publishing House, 1978.
Fanache, V., Chipuri tcute ale veniciei n lirica lui Lucian Blaga (Silent
Faces of Eternity in the Lyrics of Lucian Blaga), Cluj-Napoca, Dacia
Publishing House, 2003.
Florea, G., Corola de minuni a lumii L. Blaga universul liric (World
Wonder Corolla L. Blaga the Lyrical Univers), Bucharest, Viaa
Romneasc Press and Publishing House, 2001.
Gan, George, Opera literar a lui Lucian Blaga (Literary Work of Lucian Blaga),
Bucharest, Minerva Publishing House, 1976.
Ivacu, G., Prefata la Lucian Blaga, Poezii (Preface to Lucian Blaga, Poems),
Bucharest, Literature Publishing House, 1967.

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THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM


Livad, Melania, Iniiere n poezia lui Lucian Blaga (Initiation in the Poetry of
Lucian Blaga), Bucharest, Cartea Romneasc Publishing House, 1974.
Mincu, Marin, Studiu introductiv la Lucian Blaga, Poezii, Introducere, tabel cronologic,
comentarii i note critice de Marin Mincu (Introductive Study to Lucian Blaga, Poems,
Introduction, chronological tabel, comentaries and critical notes by Marin Mincu),
Craiova, Pontica Publishing House, 1995.
Simion, Eugen, Scriitori romni de azi (Romanian Writers of Today), vol. I ,
Chiinu, Litera Publishing House, 1997.
ora, Mariana, Cunoatere poetic i mit n poezia lui Lucian Blaga (Poetical
Knowledge and Myth in the Poetry of Lucian Blaga), Bucharest, Minerva
Publishing House, 1970.
Tnase, Al., Lucian Blaga, filosoful poet, poetul filosof (Lucian Blaga,
Philosopher Poet, Poet Philosopher), Bucharest, Cartea Romneasc
Publishing House, 1977.
Todoran, Eugen, Lucian Blaga-mitul poetic (Lucian Blaga-Poetical Myth), vol. I,
Timioara, Facla Publishing House, 1983.

77

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THEORY, HISTORY AND LITERARY CRITICISM

LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES

79

80

LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES

Presumptions of Intercultural Communication.


Between Symbolic Interactionism and
Postmodern Society
Regis Mafteiu Roman
Abstract:
The subject of our study is common to modern and postmodern approaches
on cultural and intercultural level. However, intercultural conversation turns
into a elementary social construction in postmodernism due to the individual`s
relating to general by means of textuality and to the expansion of media. The
man lives by means of symbols, which are created by himself. Intercultural
social dialogue reduces the semantic field and converges the meaning of natural
language by interactionism criteria: affective fields, need for safety, and search
for novelty. The role of postmodern speech explains what phenomenal world is
and aims to search the unitary and integrative substratum of relationships
between the individual and social consciousness on a national or supranational
level.
Keywords:
intercultural
communication,
language,
symbolic
interactionism, speech

The Dada foundations of the first half of the twentieth century are
those who have made their mark on the postmodern structurally,
reiterating the importance of context to the detriment of content, the
individual before the general, of the short and real text, of the discourse
opposing large narratives, of the frame of objects, of collages as
opposed to works perceived as shut crystal entities, fixed, given forever.
In general, critics of the past or seekers of the future, without
highlighting the ethical elements or the attitude degrees of comparison,
try to capture less visible attributes from the perspective of fundamental
activities, focusing on the analysis of the individual, of the particular, of
the fragmented: whether its about culture, about civilization or the
physical reality in which man is encompassed and projected. Analyzed
in terms of axiological criteria the pillars of postmodernism can be

Associate
Professor
regis_roman@yahoo.com

PhD,

Vasile

81

Goldi

University

of

Arad,

reduced to a few epistemic fields that require intentionally explicit


assumptions by:
- the desire to overcome the prejudices of the Enlightenment type of
scenarios criticisms of the reason as an objective state where the
subjective is exonerated are well-known;
- belief in developing knowledge based on hermeneutic, existential and
phenomenological ground where the individual, as well as the
researcher of the scientific community, are active factors, co-participants
and not mere receptacles;
- the creativity impulse as a crucial element both in the textual
construction the world becomes a huge text, and in the interpretation
of speech or the written word any reading becomes a (re)anchoring of
the reader in reality, and the latter is never the same, he changes, even if
imperceptibly, becoming different;
- the objective, absolute truth, a continuous requirement in the fields of
ethics and aesthetics, the gnosiological truth is replaced by a truly
individual perception or by a construct group, of a socio-cultural or
scientific community.
The postmodern deconstruction began explicitly with Jacques
Derrida brings back knowledge from the outside of the individual
scientific theories implicitly had a priory nature in the midst of
humanity through conventionalism and social recognition. We do not
know clearly what truth external to man is a process that is meant to
be known in modern rationality, but we also the claims directed towards
discovering the truth by a phenomenological, logo-centric, punctual,
contextual, continuing acceptance of it by the individual, by the social
group. Even modern society is laid, eventually, in post-modernity under
a question mark due to the actions carried out and to the implicit or
hidden negative consequences that occurred as a result of these actions.
The theme of communication is common to intercultural
approaches: linguistic, anthropological, economic, sociological etc. With
post-modernity one reaches the study of the processuality of language
and social dialogue. From a pragmatic point of view there are several
types of conversations that make a subject specific to communication:
optional, mandatory exchange of information etc. through which one
can see the types of organizations and social structures existing at a
national, regional or supra-regional level, grouped linguistically or at
random. At the anthropological and sociological level, by conversation
the hierarchical principles after which the dialogue takes place are
highlighted (depending on social status, emotional status, sex,
nationality etc.). From this perspective, intentional studies, unconscious

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LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES


and archetypal, place the ideal society in terms of communication (of
dialogue and conversation) in an area which would lead to a debate of
general ideas rather than chatter (Tarde, 1989: 602) in relation to the
current political and economic aspects of daily life. But the chattering is
the one that helps achieve social harmony, the deletion of differences
between speakers, the dissemination of social hierarchies through
everyday speech, but at the same time, through communication develops
the idea of value and of the social values system.
In Meads cognitive schemes (1934) consciousness originates in the
interactions of individuals who, through cooperation and
communication, create the social objects through which an identity
between the individual consciousness and social awareness are achieved
within a nation, but also in relations of a supranational type. For this
reason communication appears as a social recognition of the symbols, of
the gestures with social significance and even of the intentions of
communication. The effect is the development of thought, of human
intelligence as a unique form of psychosocial and cultural experience.
On the other hand, taking into consideration the exposed networking, a
linguistic and cultural approach to personality is also developed (George
Herbert Mead, Ralph Linton) in relation to the premises of the criteria
used in psychoanalysis and anthropology. It is argued by the idea that
man is the only one that produces and uses symbols. Society pre-exists
the individual. The individual interacts with society and the two entities
cannot exist separately. For this reason, the individual shapes himself in
society, but, in his turn, forms a new society through communication
and interaction. With R. Linton, the idea of a pattern, of a cultural and
basic personality has emerged, by which one can analyse the array of
typical traits of all individuals who form an ethnic or national character.
Societies are organized groups of individuals and cultures, in the last
analysis, are nothing but systems of repeatable responses common to the
members of a society (Linton, 1968: 49). Extrapolated, this mechanism
leads to the idea of cultural patterns, the effect of a dialogue between
civilizations and of a communication that goes beyond ethnic or national
borders.
The individual is the essential criterion of understanding the
intercultural communicative society. R. Linton structurally identifies
three psychological necessities of man by which one can reach an
understanding of human behaviour:
The first and most complex need is that of an emotional
response from others. Through this report, from the first steps in life, a
social necessity of affective responses is developed. This social need is
observed by analyzing the high infant mortality in childrens homes and

83

which confirms the conclusion of a psychoanalyst: a loveless infant is an


infant who does not live (Linton, 1968: 52).
The second psychological need, with a universal theme, is that
of long-term security, which addresses the need for the individual to be
socially insured.
The third need is that of novelty of the experience that develops
when the first two needs are satisfied and which shows the requirement
of new behavioural situations that arise from childhood and manifest
throughout life. In these conditions, one must be met with the dual role
of the individuals implied by the knowledge of their behaviour: as
individuals and as social units. In the first case, the primary analysis of
needs is paramount. In the second case, through the social units, one
must know the stereotyped forms of behaviour learned in society, the
cultural patterns that are specific to nations and nationalities. But as
nations blend, communication is based on global intercultural
discoveries.
In essence, one notices the development of an expanding social
universe by which mankind united polysemantically and with many
contradictions, is the subject of scientific and sociological research
(Buzrnescu, 1999: 169) as a subject of the development of international
studies dealing with the research of world society: the development
trajectory or global society: human networking. George Herbert Mead
proposed the analysis of the particular or individual processes and social
facts to the detriment of the overall analysis of societies, developing the
social theory of symbolic interactions. The core process of social facts is
the language, in which the symbol has a decisive role. The symbol is
something that stands for something else the basic position of Meads
conception.
Every word has a specific structure, characteristic to itself, but it
refers to something else, outside of it, and rarely does the word refer
only to itself as meta-language (the word rock and the meanings that it
develops), reflecting the substitution of things in reality that, with
learning, cause the man to refer symbolically to that object. Recognizing
the intentions of face to face discussions has a crucial role. Each
speaker will try to understand the behaviour of the interlocutor by
discovering the intentional symbols (clothing, facial expressions etc.),
especially regarding the honesty of the dialogue and discourse.
Through symbolic thinking, language and communication, man does
not depend on direct perceptions anymore. The child acquires selfconsciousness when understanding the meaning of the pronoun I. It is
the decisive factor of networking and symbolic thinking that he will use

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throughout his whole life. Any human interaction is based on the
exchange of symbols. Every interaction involves searching for clues,
symbols, types of behaviour and one pursues the recognition of the
intentions to be used in the most appropriate and contextual response.
At the level of intercultural communication, there are several
references that indicate the communication sphere associated either to
the pragmatic foundation or to the functional basis regarding the
interrelations that can be established between the parties. Regardless of
the criteria used for understanding communication it can be perceived
operationally as speech act (in the widest sense) that uses in gradual
ways communication skills of transmitting information that define
themselves contextually by their intrinsic coherence and consistency. As
a semiotic collective action (Melden, 1968), communication is a human
behaviour and has its own purpose in the context of recognition and
enforcement of rules, application of criteria, following guidelines, the
implementation of public and social policies freely and responsibly in
relation to the effects of the actions committed. In the latter case, a
report of negative or positive cooperation emerges (Kotarbiski, 1976:
101). The cooperation report is positive when the actions committed
determine and facilitate all the other activities or it is negative if it
impedes or frustrates consecutive or complementary activities or which
arise as a result of the former. In effect, communication is always
operated as a social or collective fact, national or international. One
cannot call a dialogue my communication but our communication
(Frte 2003: 101197). Consequently, communication and language can
be analysed as a foundation of the following types (Roman, 2007: 151):
a. Epistemological. Given the fact that language informs us about
the world, it refers directly to various epistemologies which relate to the
words and to the relationships between them, establishing in a unitary
way the means of anchoring into reality. Thus, classical epistemology
indicates a commensurate analysis of reality and of the theories about it:
there is a hard core of various theories that constitute their meaning and
a new theory is an addition to the old theory through extensive meanings
(the new theory managed to cover a broader area in terms of the
paradigmatic situations of the old theory), or incommensurable theories
are discovered showing that any new theory involves a language of
meaning and signification different from the historical one. In any way,
the social analysis of the epistemological discourse is more important
than ever in any kind of field (political, scientific, cultural etc.). In fact,
the elitist community is the one which distinguishes, ultimately, between
legitimate speech and illegitimate speech. But changing the
epistemological meaning and significance of words has profound

85

influences on society as a whole. Thus, a sufficient imperative of


democratic civilizations is that by which real communities are queried
about essential changes of reference and, especially about reality,
perception, reporting and understanding reality itself.
b. Pragmatic meanings. With J. L. Austin (2003), by the analysis of
speech acts the idea according to which the meaning of a sentence
depends on the context field appeared. It refers to the elocutionary,
illocutionary and perlocutionary aspects of a sentence. Intuitively
speaking, a statement develops its elocutionary force by its
representational content, thus being an indicative statement, verifiable
by truth conditions. The illocutionary aspect (which is based upon the
analysis of questions, requests and promises) indicates that the
significance implies something more than its representational capacity
[M. Devitt calls them non-indicative], in a given situation, regarding the
perlocutionary attitude taken within the statement. We identify the
within the prelocutionary attitude the constant effort of the speaker to
relate to the same cognitive scheme of the accepted identity. In its own
way, the means of relating to the premises of the identity of ones own
ego has a decisive role.
Paul Grice, too, by analysing the term significance notes that it is
vague and ambiguous. Therefore the comes to differentiate between a
natural significance which he does not consider semantic and a
conventional significance, standard, literal, semantic, and a meaning of
the speaker, indicating what he means by sign in a given occasion.
Both processualities find, in a unit, their target regarding
intercultural communication, becoming sources of information, of
perception and understanding of the specific message.
c. Of the codes used. The fundamental concept has its starting point
in the origin of the language, so that from the past regularities of the
speakers meanings conventional meanings came to existence (as a
psychological phenomenon there are prerequisites for the development
of linguistic conventions such as intentions, gestures etc.). By analysing
the formative linguistic code and the current discursive communication,
we can conclude that the significance of the speaker is compared with
the conventional priority. For example, the median concept which
differentiates between the two types of semantic significance is the
metaphor. Through metaphors the speaker says something: different
from... or independent from... the conventional significance. The
relevant observation is that most meanings coincide, but it is not always
so, since through the metaphor man deliberately makes a divergence
between conventional meaning and the speakers meaning. The

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LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES


speakers meaning is derived from the conventional meaning, but
transcends it. One thus notices the emergence of an unusual force in the
semantics of the speaker, an illocutionary force which is different from
conventional forces. At a sub-textual level, the illocutionary force
describes the communicative intentions which are reflexive and which
involve recognition by the community of those intentions. However, the
most important fact appears as a conclusion of conventional meanings
which shows that: linguistic intentions... formulated explicitly are
undoubtedly rare. In their absence, it seems we rely on almost the same
kinds of criteria on which we rely within non-linguistic intentions, used
in general (Dewitt; Sterelny, 2000: 149).
d. Contextual upon the language. Discourses (well-founded, rational,
and active) occur in space and time, denoting their perceived need for
social contexts. Due to social contexts, this requires institutional
measures to neutralize the empirical limitations and inevitable internal
and external avoidable influences (Habermas, 2000: 91). The attempts
to institutionalize discourses aim at the finalist normative
representations and the pre-intuitive understanding of argumentation in
general. Thus, discourse ethics does not offer content guidelines, but a
procedure with many premises, guaranteeing impartiality of judgment
formation (Habermas, 2000: 117). In one example, Habermas takes
from Kolberg the discursive process at a post-conventional level,
indicating: the full reversal of points of view, the universal inclusion of
all those concerned, the reciprocal recognition of claims and desires of
any party, which is developed through six stages that lead to the
formation of fair and impartial evaluations. The pre-conventional level
A includes stage I of submission and punishment and stage II of purpose
of the individual instrumental exchange. The conventional level B
includes stage III of expectations, relations and mutual interpersonal
conformity; stage IV of the social system and the preservation of
consciousness. The post-conventional level C includes stage V of
priority rights, utility, or social contract and stage VI of universal ethical
principles. The transition from one stage to another is achieved by
learning. But not all subjects reach the post-conventional level C. Fair
and impartial evaluations can be achieved only if there are no large gaps
between the actions oriented towards understanding and success. In
reality, discrepancies may occur unconsciously or in a latent way due to
the communicative gridlocks separating action (unconscious desires)
from show action (understanding).
In conclusion, the role of language, when it makes a reference to
what is different from I, describes or explains what phenomenal world
is. In any explanation of human behaviour one must take into account

87

the significant features of language that convey a single integrative


substrate, developing the essence of social consciousness (Alter Ego)
and the significant and alterable features of the language actually used to
render private networking interpretations (inter-Ego) at a national and
supranational level.
REFERENCES:
Austin, J. L., Cum s faci lucruri din vorbe (How to do things with words),
Piteti, Parallel 45 Publishing House, 2003.
Buzrnescu, t., Sociologia civilizaiei tehnologice (The sociology of
technological civilization), Iai, Polirom Publishing House, 1999.
Dewitt, M., Sterelny, K., Limbaj i realitate (Language and Reality), Iai,
Polirom Publishing House, 2000.
Frte, Gh. I., Filosofie i tiine politice (Philosophy and Political Sciences),
Iai, University Al. I. Cuza Publishing House, 2003.
Habermas, J., Contiin moral i aciune comunicativ (Moral Consciousness
and Communicative Action), Bucharest, All Publishing House, 2000.
Kotarbiski, T., Tratat despre lucrul bine fcut (Treaty on a work well done),
Bucharest, Politics Publishing House, 1976.
Linton, R., Fundamentul cultural al personalitii (The cultural foundation of
personality), Bucharest, Scientific Publishing House, 1968.
Melden, A. I., Action, Readings in the Theory of Action (Action, Readings in the
Theory of Action), Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1968.
Mead, G. H., Mind. Self and Society. From the standpoint of a social
behaviorist), Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1934.
Roman, R., Textul limbajului i subtextul discursului (Language text and
discourse subtext), Arad, Vasile Goldi University Press, 2007.
Tarde, G., L opinion et la foule, Paris, Alcan L.F., P.U.F., 1989.

88

LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES

Some Considerations on the Genitive Case in


Romanian and German
Alina Pdurean
Abstract:
The Genitive Case is the second widespread case in terms of the frequency of
syntactic functions both on Romanian and German. Therefore, in our study we have
tried to identify the syntactic functions in both languages and the similarities and
differences between German and Romanian. We have also discussed the usage of
the Genitive with preposition and without preposition.
Keywords: contrastive analysis, Genitive case, Genitive with/without
preposition, syntactic functions

The Genitive case is after the Accusative, the second widespread


case in terms of syntactic functions both in Romanian and German. It
expresses the relation between objects. Being noun dependant, it has the
characteristics of a noun and therefore it is a case of subordination.
Nouns in the Genitive case can be preceded by prepositions in both
languages. Yet, they can also be used without them. In our study we will
emphasize the fact that the prepositions and the prepositional phrases
differ from one language to the other, thus the usage of a certain
preposition in German does not mean that the same case should be used
in Romanian. Translation difficulties or even translation errors as well
as incorrect utterances emerge from these differences. Linguists and
language teachers recommend learners to memorize prepositions along
with the case they require both in Romanian and in English.
The Genitive without preposition
The Genitive without preposition is relatively common in
Romanian. The German language has the tendency of giving up the
forms of Genitive without prepositions in favour of prepositional cases.
Under these circumstances, we cannot state that it is still used the
Genitive because it depends on the case required by the prepositions. In
most cases, the preposition requires either the Dative or less frequently
the Accusative. Therefore, the Genitive in German loses ground in

Lecturer PhD, Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad, alinapadurean@yahoo.de

89

favour of other cases. We observe this tendency especially in oral


communication, probably because the Genitive without preposition
sounds more elevated and is used in academic writing.
Sie erinern sich des Unfalls. (i amintesc accidentul.)
Sie erinern sich an den Unfall. (i amintesc de accident.)
In the example above, the Genitive des Unfalls has been replaced by
an den Unfall, where after the preposition an we have to use the
Accusative case. If we have a look at the Romanian translation, we
notice that the Genitive is used in neither situation. In translating a text
or sentence, one should pay attention and take into consideration the
norms of the target language and not the source language, in order to
avoid poor translation or grammar errors.
There is equivalence between Romanian and German in terms of
syntactic functions. A noun in the Genitive can be attribute, subject
complement, apposition and adverbial in both languages and in German
it can also have the syntactic function of indirect object. There are
certain verbs in German that take an indirect object. These are:
bedrfen, beschuldigen, bezichtigen, entbehren, sich enthalten, sich
erfreuen, gedenken, sich schmen, berfhren, verdchtigen.
attribute
Felix, atras de nebunia Otiliei, se urc ntr-adevr pe urmele fetei,
care se crase cu minile i cu picioarele.
(Enigma Otiliei, 102)
Das Gesicht des Mannes fhrt weiter.
(Faa brbatului cltorete mai departe.)
(Der Fuchs, 199)
Der Bi an Maras Bein ist seit langem verheilt.
(Muctura de pe piciorul Marei este vindecat de mult timp. )
(Der Fuchs, 232)
We have chosen two examples for German because the attribute`s
place in a sentence can change from one situation to the other. If the
attribute is expressed by a proper noun or the noun expresses names of
relatives, then it is placed before the governing part of speech. If the
attribute is expressed by a common noun, it is placed after its governing
part of speech.
Subject complement
Pianul era al Otiliei, de la mam-sa.
(Enigma Otiliei, 447)
Ihrer Schuld war sie sich wohl bewusst [...].

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LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES


(Ea era contient de vina ei.)
(Effi Briest, 277)
apposition (rarely)
Primirea domnului Popescu a profesorului nostru a fost foarte
clduroas.
Sie erinern sich des 8. Mai, des Tages der Befreiung.
(i amintesc de 8 mai, de ziua eliberrii.)
indirect object
Wenn Du, meine liebe Effi, glaubst, meines Rates dabei bedrfen zu
knnen, so komme, so rasch es Dir Deine Zeit erlaubt.
(Dac tu, draga mea Effi crezi c ai avea nevoie de sfatul meu, vino
att de repede ct i permite timpul.)
(Effi Briest, 189)
adverbial
Aber auch das sollte sich eines Tages ndern.
(Dar i asta ar trebui s se schimbe ntr-o zi.)
(Effi Briest, 275)
The forms of the Genitive in Romanian and German differ; therefore
we will highlight them separately. In Romanian, the Genitive is
expressed by the usage of the Definite Article or the possessive article
along with a noun.
Table no1 - The forms of the Genitive in Romanian
Singular
Plural
Case
m.
f.
n.
m.
G.
-lui,
-(e)I
-lui
-lor
-(e)i
Lui
Lui

f.
-lor

n.
-lor

We notice the usage of proclitic article the both with masculine and
feminine forms of proper nouns.
Putea apoi s divoreze, dac nu se nelegeau, cu
consimmntul chiar al lui Titi.
(Enigma Otiliei, 239)
The forms of the Genitive in German are the following:
Table no 2 The forms of the Genitive in German
Singular
Plural
Case
m.
f.
n.
m.
f.
G.
des
der
des
der
der
Mannes
Tochter
Kindes
Mnner
Tcher

91

n.
der
Kinder

One-syllabled masculine and feminine nouns get the ending es,


while nouns containing more than two syllables get the ending s.
Exceptions to the rule are masculine nouns using strong declension.
They get the ending (e)n in all cases except the Nominative Singular.
These nouns denominate beings and animals, but this category encloses
also neologisms. Feminine nouns and nouns in the Plural have no
ending.
Another difference between Romanian and German can be observed
in the manner we form the Genitive of proper nouns. In Romanian it is
formed with the proclitic article lui, whereas for common nouns we use
the enclitic article. In German, the situation is inverted: common nouns
form the Genitive with the proclitic article, whereas proper nouns are
articulated enclitically by adding s in the Genitive case. There is
another manner of forming the Genitive of proper nouns but it will be
discussed later on.
Proper nouns in the Genitive are placed before the governing
word.
Claras Schuhe klappern auf den Steinplatten.
(Pantofii Clarei tropie pe dalele de piatr.)
(Der Fuchs, 208)
If nouns end in s, tz, x sau z, it gets an apostrophe. In
spoken language we cannot use the apostrophe; therefore we use the
Genitive with preposition.
Ist das Hans Auto?
A few mentions have to be made about nouns in the Genitive
which are part of a noun phrase in German. Walter Flming (1991: 130)
in Grammatik des Deutschen discusses the relationship between a noun
and its genitive attribute.
In a noun phrase with a relative noun as centre, the later modifies
the genitive attribute. The relationship between a noun and a genitive
attribute is governed by order and by a bond created by the verb haben.
It is used with:
living creatures and family connections: der Bruder der
Knstlerin (fratele artistei), namely that the artist has a brother, der
Vater des Mdchens (tatl fetei);
parts of the body or parts of a whole: der Kopf des Patienten
(capul pacientului the head belongs to the patient), die Hlfte des
Apfels (jumtatea mrului);
body and soul conditions with the verb haben (a avea): der
Hunger der Kinder (foamea copiilor). There is a difference in this
situation between Romanian and German because in Romanian we

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LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES


don`t use the verb to have (a avea). In German, the relationship
established by the verb haben (to have) refers to the fact that der
Hunger der Kinder (foamea copiilor the childrens hunger )
means that die Kinder haben Hunger (copiilor le este foame the
children are hungry);
order and belonging in case of objects: die Tr des Schrankes
(ua dulapului).
In a noun phrase with an absolute noun as centre, the order is
variable:
order to a whole: die Huser dieser Stadt (casele acestui ora);
the core (centre) noun designates a group, an institution and the
genitive noun just one member: die Familie des Jungen (familia
tnrului);
the core (centre) noun designates the creator and the genitive
noun the product: der Komponist der Oper (compozitorul operei);
the core (centre) noun designates the product and the genitive
noun the creator: ein Werk Goethes (o oper a lui Goethe);
in German there are a few ambiguous structures due to the fact
that the Genitive describes only syntactic bonds within a noun
phrase and not also content bonds: ein Bild Goethes (Goethes
picture un tablou al lui Goethe) has in German more meanings:
Goethe is the owner of the painting, Goethe is the creator of the
painting and Goethe is portrayed in the painting.
The Genitive with preposition
A noun in the Genitive with a preposition has the following
syntactic functions: attribute, subject predicate, adverbial and indirect
object. Due to the fact that it is a prepositional case, the case of the noun
is set by the preposition accompanying the noun.
attribute
Vreo dovad mpotriva Anei nu exista, ce-i drept.
(Enigma Otiliei, 157)
Pnktlich waren Innstetten und Frau erschienen, aber trotz dieser
Pnktlichkeit immer hinter den anderen Geladenen zurckgeblieben.
(Innstetten i doamna au fost punctuali, dar n ciuda punctualitii
au fost mereu n urma celorlali invitai.)
(Effi Briest, 90)
adverbial of cause
Din cauza iluziei de es, construciile preau enorme.
(Enigma Otiliei, 97)
Wir sind ja nun schon ber sechs Jahre hier, und wie kann man
wegen solcher alten Geschichten....

93

(Noi suntem deja de peste ase ani aici i cum se poate ca din cauza
povetilor vechi...)
(Effi Briest, 253)
indirect object
Ar fi voit s strige, s protesteze mpotriva insultelor, dar emoia l
pironise pe scaun.
(Enigma Otiliei, 170)
Annie, trotz ihrer Wunde, stand mit auf, und Vater und Tochter
setzten sich zu Tisch.
(Annie s-a ridicat n ciuda rnii, i tatl cu fiica s-au aezat la
mas.)
(Effi Briest, 236)
In Romanian, the prepositions asupra, contra, deasupra,
dedesubtul, mpotriva, mprejurul, naintea, ndrtul and the
prepositional phrases din partea, n dreptul, n faa, n preajma, n jurul,
n vederea, n ciuda, n pofida take the Genitive. The inventory of
prepositions used with the Genitive in German is different from
Romanian; therefore we do not recommend any correspondence with the
Romanian when translating a text. In German, the following prepostions
take the Genitive: halber (din cauza), statt (n locul), auerhalb (n
afara), innerhalb (n interiorul), trotz (n ciuda), whrend (n timpul),
wegen (din cauza). There are also a few phrases that are used in the
Genitive: eines Morgens (ntr-o diminea), eines Sonntags (ntr-o
duminic), dieser Tage (zilele acestea).
In German, possession can be expressed by attaching the ending s
to the noun (see The Genitive without preposition), as well as with the
preposition on. The preposition von takes the Dative in German, but the
structure von + noun in the Dative can replace a Genitive structure with
the syntactic function of attribute. We use the structure with von in the
following situations:
when we want to use elevated words or to highlight the proper
name: eine Arbeit Picassos eine Arbeit von Picasso (a work by
Picasso o lucrare a lui Picasso);
when the noun is used in the Singular with the Zero Article: die
Produktion von Fleisch;
when the noun is used in the Plural with the Zero Article: die
Ausbildung von Lehrern (perfecionarea profesorilor);
when the noun denominates proper names ending in s, x and z
used attributively: die Werke von Marx und Engels (lucrri de Marx
i Engels);

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LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES


for stylistic purposes when the speaker wants to use a neutral
utterence: der Brgermeister von Leipzig (primarul din Leipzig).
The Genitive has mostly the syntactic function of attribute both in
Romanian and German. When expressing possession, we identify in
both languages some values of the Genitive (Avram, 2001: 45)
influenced by the meaning of the modified word as well as of the word
in the Genitive. There are also a few values specific to the German
language, as highlighted by Bertelmann (1999: 144).
The Subjective Genitive shows us who does the action and
names of actions or states:
Picturile lui Simion i ale lui Titi, mai cu seam ale acestuia din
urm, erau de o dexteritate indiscutabil.
(Enigma Otiliei, 59)
Das Rauschen der Straenbahn unten und der Rauchen oben waren
manchmal dasselbe.
(Huruitul tramvaielor jos i fumul sus erau uneori acelai lucru.)
(Der Fuchs, 12)
The Objective Genitive modifies names of actions or agents,
acting as a direct or indirect object to the verb;
Astfel se nfia moartea lui mo Costache: ca un furt total, agravat
cu paralizie integral i etern.
(Enigma Otiliei, 402)
Die Rettung der Kinder aus dieser Gefahr war ein Erfolg fr die
Notrzte.
(Salvarea copiilor din acest pericol a fost un succes pentru medicii
de pe ambulan.)
The Denominational or the Appositional Genitive occurs only in
Romanian. It designates proper names or explains the modified
noun through common nouns
Pe prima strad, n spatele malului de pmnt al stadionului, este
Casa tineretului, acolo este Oficiul strii civile.
(Vulpea, 176)
The Superlative Genitive, or Genitiv der Seigerung in German is
similar to a superlative and it is actually a repetition of the word.
The modifier is in the Genitive: floarea florilor, campionul
campionilor; der Tag der Tage (ziua zilelor)
In German there is also the Possessive Genitive which is based
on the relationship with the verb haben (a avea):
Die Tochter der Dienstbotin hlt das Streichholz an den Berg, an
die Hlfte aus Papier.
(Fiica slujnicei ine chibritul aproape de munte, de jumtatea de
hrtie.)

95

(Vulpea, 281)
The Quality Genitive (DUDEN, 2005: 643) is used in academic
writing and has a stylistic value:
Dies wurde bejaht, und ein Mann mittleren Jahren trat alsbald an
die Reisenden heran.
(Aceasta s-a confirmat i un brbat de vrst mijlocie a abordat
ndat cltorii.)
(Effi Briest, 216)
The Explanatory Genitive is developed around the phrase este
ca i... (it is as if): Die Nacht des Faschismus der Faschismus
ist wie die Nacht (noaptea fascismului fascismul este ca noaptea).
As revealed by the above mentioned structures, there are both
similarities and differences in terms of the Genitive with or without
preposition. When translating a text, we cannot count on transfer from
one language to the other because the prepositions are different and
therefore also a source of errors. Also, using the Genitive in the source
language does not imply using it in the target language.
Particular attention should be paid to translations but also the
manner of learning German as a foreign language.
REFERENCES:
***, Bertelsmann, Grammatik der deutschen Sprache (Grammar of the German
Language), Mnchen, Bertelsmann Lexikon, 1999.
***, Gramatica Limbii Romne (Grammar of the Romanian Language), V.
Guu Romalo (coord.), vol I, Cuvntul (The Word), vol. II, Enunul (The
Sentence), Bucharest, The Romanian Academy Publishing House, 2005.
***, DUDEN, Die Grammatik (Grammar), vol.4, 7th edition, Mannheim et al.,
Duden Publishing House, 2005.
Avram, Mioara, Gramatica pentru toi (Grammar for all), 3rd edition,
Bucharest, Humanitas, 2001.
Engel, Ulrich, Syntax der deutschen Gegenwartsprache (Syntax of German
Contemporary Language), 3rd edition, Erich Schmidt Publishing House, 1994.
Flmig, Walter, Grammatik des Deutschen, Einfhrung in Struktur und
Wirkungszusammenhnge (German Grammar, Introduction into the Structure
and Connections), Akademie, 1991.
Isbescu, Mihai, Engel, Ulrich (coord), Beitrger zur deutsch rumnischer
kontrastiven Grammatik (Contributions to GermanRomanian Contrastive
Grammar), vol. 14, Bucharest, 19791981.

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LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES

Slang Elements in the Journalistic Style


Carmen Neamu
Abstract:
A long time from now on the dominant style of the Romanian press will be
a Latin one, with a waste of raciness, with ironies and stings, with a playful
spirit and colorful expressions. These are features of our culture of existing and
communicating: we could, at any time, sacrifice any BBC-like rule for the sake
of a pun.
The journalist embraces this style, which refers to the live registers of the
spoken language even in writing, as opposed to the style before the year 1989,
when you could talk about immobility in narrations, about a wooden language
in the style of communication in general, not only the presss style. Slum
expressions win in the presss discourse, the rudeness of the language attracts
the audience of OTV-like programs and many others.
In a desire to write in a very interesting way for the avid for sensation
public, journalists make abuse of inverted comas and colorful expressions.
Keywords: style in press, slum vocabulary, popular expressions

Slang is an ensemble of terms and phrasal constructions


expressively marked, developing new unusual senses, which are the
most of the time incomprehensible for the outside speakers of the small
sociolinguistic circle in which they are used (see: Dumitru Irimia,
Introducere n stilistic / Introduction to Stylistics, chap. Slang, Iai,
Polirom Publishing House, 1999). It is used by someone with the
intention of not being understood by persons, who do not belong to that
certain group. Dumitru Irimia says that using slang terms characterizes
almost exclusively the socio cultural groups and/or groups of
contradicting ages way of speaking: scholars and students, on one hand
soldiers, on the other hand sergeants and a third category: the socially
emarginated of different reasons, those who fought the law, prisoners
etc (122).
The linguist Iorgu Iordan (see: Stilistica limbii romne / Romanian
Language Stylistics, final edition, Bucharest, Scientific Publishing
House, 1975) explains the use of slang by scholars and students, by

Associate
Professor
carmenneamtu@excite.com

PhD,

Aurel

97

Vlaicu

University

of

Arad,

invoking adolescence, the age at which fantasy and the spirit of defiance
are exacerbated. Dumitru Irimia also has the opinion that, using slang
gives the teenager the conscience of a free spirit, it emphasizes the
feeling of individuality, of personality, by the affirmation of a much
desired capacity now: being spiritual satisfies these aspirations, by
concentrating the attention on him.
Linguists distinguish the slang of villains, thieves, of scholars and
students, of sportsmen, of typographers etc. Ilie Rad in Stilistic i massmedia / Stylistics and Mass Media, Cluj-Napoca, Excelsior Publishing
House, 1999, looks over the origins and evolution of slang, specifying
that some slang words and expressions come from the common
language, and mentioning that the speaker gives them new meanings,
which are sometimes based on comparison, metonymy, or synecdoche:
pumpkin for head, shyster for attorney, blagging for robbing, stove for
wife, vinyl for mother-in-law, borsch for blood etc. Ilie Rad
distinguishes a certain category of slang, which comes from the regional
idioms or from borrowings from other languages, such as: to bootleg
(for stealing), to bust a grub (for eating), kaput (from German, for
broken), bosh (for invaluable thing), Bolshoi (from Russian, for sea) etc.
It seems that slang brings more picturesqueness, more
expressiveness, and more exoticism in the oral language. For example,
in writing student slang expressions ironically translate aspects from the
students lives: to bolo (for failing an exam), fresh meat (for freshman),
nail (for a very hard exam), off-topic (not knowing the subject), chick (a
very beautiful student), buzz off (do not bore me), to be mocked up by a
teacher (being listened from all the courses), getting a pox (getting a 4),
to doll up (to dress up), to eye (to observe), dodger (the one who eats in
a canteen illegally or the one who travels by train without ticket), house
painter (Arts student), mason (Sculpture student) etc.
Here are a few examples from the newspaper press:
Even retirees prank the CFR (Observator, no. 746, p. 4)
A man from Bucharest pranked AMARAD (Observator, no. 924, p. 11).

The requirement for using popular expressions stylistically, with


ironic humorous touches is to have a special sense of appropriateness
to the situation, the object, the communication register. Otherwise the
process might get out of control (273). Rodica Zafiu talks about the
role of colloquialism in the written language in the volume Diversitate
stilistic n romna actual / Stylistic Diversity in Current Romanian,
which appeared in 2001 at the University of Bucharest Publishing

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House. The linguist draws attention upon a possible misunderstanding of
such expressions, giving transcription examples of the confusing orality.
Extending the colloquial tone in the press is risking a very serious
danger: article authors might lose their knowledge of the differences
between the written and oral code, endorsing the false idea of orality as
pure transcription. Orality, as we know it, is written with well controlled
words, based on selection, on elimination of redundancy []. The rule
of a well written text is to give the impression of orality, by adapting it
to other conditions of communication, by removing it from the context
(absence of mimic, intonation, of immediate correction) and putting it
back in: it is so a suggestion, not a recording, an exact reproduction
(2001: 278).
tefan Munteanu, linguist from Timioara, also talks in his book
Limb i cultur / Language and Culture, which appeared in 2006 at the
West University in Timioara, about some ways of spoken folk
language (46), such as hey!, oh!, oh my!, get out of here!, you dont
say!, its true!, which liven the expression and give it a dramatic
character. tefan Munteanu thinks that there are words, such as those
belonging to the slum, which make the language uglier, such as:
dude/chick (for boyfriend-girlfriend), crappy (when something is ugly,
ineffective), cool (as opposed to crappy) etc. We could also add to the
list: awesome, neat, cool (pronounced cul), trendy words, which
replaced the absolute superlative.
Extending the colloquial tone in the press is real, the theeing and
thouing invading the audio-visual, talk shows or Vox shows (street
voice, a sort of mini street investigation, after that the newscaster draws
the conclusions: the people from Arad think/do not think that...; the
people from Arad trust/ do not trust... etc.). Here is a sample of slum
language, which passed from orality to written language: We may have
the toughest law in the world, as long as the gypsy boors with a 3
kilogram necklace, that goes with the Jeep, the blondes, who look
through the Mercedes steering wheel, politicians kids, prosecutors and
judges, parliamentarians wives and many others are hand in hand with
the body, which they seem not to see, we wont get rid of the troglodytes
from the streets. The code and its sanctions are only for losers, just like
before.
Andrei Pleu also talks about the colloquial tone which is in trend
now, in an editorial from February 2004 in the Jurnalul National, a
contemporary text in his theme, from which we quote: [] We do not
have prejudices, we do not have judgments nor fancies. We are thee and
thouing each other. We are friends. We were born yesterday. It is
perfectly normal for a television reporter to walk along the street with

99

his microphone and thee and thou the passers, to whom he wants to talk
to, even though he meets them for the first time. It is normal for a
professor to thee and thou his students. It is normal for an angry
politician to thee and thou his opponents. It is normal that everyone
thees and thous everyone on the beach, at the disco or at entertainment
shows. Under these circumstances, using You all of a sudden is abusive.
You is used only in mockery, only when you want to express your
aversion, disbelief and loathing. Only thee and thouing is normal [].
Andrei Pleu has different types of thee and thouing, the macho style,
the man who fights soft girls and shady bimbos, on stage thee and
thouing, through which the unpopular presenter and the star presenter
show their authority, police thee and thouing, the bosss thee and
thouing towards his employees, the road thee and thouing of hysterical
drivers, the war thee and thouing, ironically-protective or friendly.
Here are a couple of news from a the 24 de ore newspaper no.
556, page 16, from Reia, which combines, in a wrong manner for a
non- satiric publication, the uncut information with the commentary:
Three small Romanians, climbed on the bridge of the Cultural banisters
in Reia, warbled yesterday in Spanish, that the blackboard is frying them.
Maybe they should intensify security in that area. Romanians leave us also
without the bridges banisters.
The House of Culture from Caransebes, which is led by colonel Ioan
Cojocaru, also called Coaja, set the date of the ceremony for the Flag Day
today at 14:30. When the meteorologists announce 40 degrees. Mister
Coaja, the army is abolished!
The Baile Calacea resort, situated between Timisoara and Arad, also has
a beach. On Sunday, it was full of people and frogs. The beach was full of
croaking. Arent frogs searched for in exports? Especially this kind of
species. Not pond frogs, but beach frogs.
The famous minister of health, the liberal Eugen Nicolaescu promised
yesterday to the villages from Banat itinerant pharmacies, as the carnival
came in town. Then you are going to hear how the drum plays in the
village. Here comes the Algocalmin, here comes the Piramidon, run old
woman or you will lose the Coprol!

Expressions such as: he spent his life around the train stations in
Arad, to chill out, to not care, to get pranked, to do pranks, to go
shopping, to go for free appear in the pages of newspaper, because of
the desire to familiarize with the reader. The more we see them in the

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written press, the more annoying they are. Here is a title from
Observator, no. 1425, page 4: DIM a prankster who ridicules the
genius. DIM are the initials of a man, who sent a 1.9 billion uncovered
check to SC SOFT-MALT ROMANIA SRL, and who in the articles
author, L. Valeriu, vision made the most appreciated prank of his
activity.
Alin Ionescu, TV columnist at the Cotidianul newspaper, referring
to the language familiarities that the public enjoy, even gives a guide to
success in an article called How to speak on TV (no. 14 4696, p. 24),
reinforcing the role of colloquialism in the conquer of the public. Alin
Ionescu finds some clichs, which ensure the success of an efficient
communication:
[] It is preferable to use expressions such as to put an obstacle in
someones way, to cope with the situation. Make simple pranks or tell
jokes, which you have approved in secure environments. Speak slowly and
clearly, so that nobody can interrupt you. Know when to look modest: If
you ask me what the solutions are, I can say that I do not have them, but
that does not mean I could not have them in the case.... Do not show that
you have clear sympathies: I do not agree with X, but that does not mean
that I agree with Y. Show respect for those who have read a lot and seem
to know, but do not forget to show curiosity about the financial
profitability of their occupations. The spirit is good, but the materialistic
part should not be neglected. Everything goes through the stomach. Show
your indignation for gas or bread prices. Say that everyone lies, but you are
honest, really, why would you lie? Be a patriot, but moderate, because you
do not want to seem nationalist. Do not omit the country, the mother, and
the values. You risk being called a cosmopolitan. Try to look concerned
about your private security: It is dangerous to be honest these days.
Praise the Romanian educational system, which even in the current conditions
produces values, attention, and notables. Do not forget this word! []

The journalist embraces this style, which refers to the live registers
of the spoken language even in writing, as opposed to the style before
the year 1989, when you could talk about immobility in narrations,
about a wooden language in the style of communication in general, not
only the presss style. Slum expressions win in the presss discourse, the
rudeness of the language attracts the audience of OTV-like programs
and many others. Here are some language vulgarities from the
Romania Mare magazine: the sycophant, shameless stanchness,
crappy boss, the retard, the faggot, the bandit, the parachutes... etc.
The frequency of using the word to put, with the versions to steal
someones stocked money, to put someone in the hospital, to put

101

someone in a coma, translates the misunderstood level of a simple style


for a larger number of readers.
CJA stole the stocked money the Observator newspaper, no. 664
(p. 4, article signed by Marian Buga)
The mushrooms have put a child in the hospital the Observator
newspaper, no. 660 (p. 4, article signed by Tibi Ettenberger)
Distracted and drunk
A man has been put in a coma by an automobile the Observator
newspaper, no. 792 (p. 5, article signed by Florines Ghile).

In a desire to write in a very interesting way for the avid for


sensation public, journalists make abuse of inverted comas and colorful
expressions. Here is some news from the Observator newspaper.
Through the parquets care
Sexu and Corcobauru have chilled out from robberies
Prosecutor Florin Roman, from the parquet near the Court from Arad,
has put at our disposal two files of former students who have been robbing
other fellow students, using threatening, and intimidation.
Gheorghe Adrian Lazar, 20 years old, and Florin Barna, 19 years old, both
from Arad, were operating in the childrens park, where groups of students
were going home. After their nicknames, Corcobauru and Sexu used to buy
liquor with the stolen money or sold goods. The fatal complaint on them was
made on October 3. We will press it. On Friday, the Courts file, as a result of the
indictment, declared prosecutor Florin Roman. (no. 1255, p. 4)
Five runagates passed the customs officers very easily. (no. 1439, p. 2)
Five villains, caught by surprise. (no. 797, p. 4)
A man from Curtici wanted to travel free by train. (no. 584, p. 4)

REFERENCES:
Iordan, Iorgu, Stilistica limbii romne (Romanian Language Stylistics),
Bucharest, Scientific Publishing House, 1975.
Irimia, Dumitru, Introducere n stilistic (Introduction to Stylistics), Iai,
Polirom Publishing House, 1999.
Munteanu, tefan, Limb i cultur (Language and Culture), Timioara, West
University of Timioara, 2006.
Rad, Ilie, Stilistic i mass-media (Stylistics and Mass Media), Cluj-Napoca,
Excelsior Publishing House, 1999.
Zafiu, Rodica, Diversitate stilistic n romna actual (Stylistic Diversity in Current
Romanian), Bucharest, University of Bucharest Publishing House, 2001.

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LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES

Some Considerations Regarding the Case System


of the Preposition contra (Against)
Cristina Corla (Han)
Abstract:
The purpose of the present study is to examine the behaviour of the
preposition contra (against) in the Romanian language. Being able to generate
a syntactical group, the analysed preposition can govern a nominal on which it
imposes case, word order and the use of the article. We will take a closer look
at the situations when the prepositional scheme does not work anymore and the
prepositional system of genitive is blocked. We will insist upon the
interpretation solutions for an unusual structure the association of contra
(against) with the functional preposition a (of).
Keywords: preposition, case, synthetic expression of the case, analytic
expression of the case, the cancellation of the case

Typical features of the preposition


According to todays grammar, the preposition represents a
heterogeneous class of words, characterised by a meaning which is more
abstract than that of other classes (relational meaning), a unique form
(the absence of the flexion), a fixed word order (it is put before the
dominated / directed term), the capacity to be the centre of the
syntactical group and to build the prepositional group together with the
dominated term. As the centre of the group, when the term is a nominal,
it imposes the use of the article, case and number restrictions and it
assigns thematic roles. The prepositional group cannot be a single
member it is always made up of preposition followed by a compulsory
determiner. The heterogeneousness consists in the fact that this class of
words is made up of lexical, semi-lexical and functional prepositions.
The preposition and the case system
Traditionally, when we talk about the case, we refer to a
grammatical category which is closely connected to the flexion of the
noun, of the pronoun, of the numeral and of the adjective. In DSL (1997:
93), the case is defined as a relational category which expresses the

PhD Candidate, Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad, cristinahant@yahoo.com

103

syntactical relations employed by the name (the noun, the pronoun and
the numeral) and the adjective within the limits of a sentence and,
implicitly their syntactical functions. D. D. Draoveanu (1997) refers to
three types of cases: case1 achieved through flexion, case2 achieved
through agreement, case3 achieved through prepositional junction.
Only three of the cases genitive, dative and accusative can be
governed by prepositions. In this situation the preposition acts as a
cohesive element of the structure, establishing different relations with
the full lexical terms. The relation is closer with T2, on which the
preposition imposes grammatical categories that it does not have
therefore the regimen functions as a form of manifestation of syntactical
constraints within the group.
If the paradigm of the prepositions for the accusative is steady
(some studies indicate the number of the prepositions these form a sort
of nucleus of the class), the grammar books present different
inventories, especially when we talk about prepositions and
prepositional phrases used with the genitive contra (against),
mpotriva (against), naintea (before), napoia (behind), asupra (about,
regarding), deasupra (over), dedesubtul (under), n faa (in front of), n
jurul (around), n ciuda (contrary to), n pofida (in spite of), din cauza
(because of), din pricina (because of) etc. or about the prepositions
that require the dative datorit (due to), graie (thanks to), mulumit
(thanks to).
Contra a preposition with multiple functions
The preposition contra (against) has a special status in the
Romanian language. In GALR (2008) its double function is admitted: the
function of genitive in this situation the nominal that is used with it
has a specific form for this case, and the function of accusative its
usage is currently spreading in the Romanian language. In both
situations, the analysed preposition is lexical: it has a strong meaning (it
shows the opposition, the direction, the change, etc.), it establishes
synonymy (Suntem contra lor. Suntem mpotriva lor. We are against
them.) and antonymy (Suntei pentru sau mpotriva pedepsei cu
moartea? Are you for or against the death penalty?), it imposes form,
word order and restrictions regarding the use of the article on the
directed term. Another feature that makes it special is the fact that it has
in its structure a part that is a homonym of the definite article. Unlike
other prepositions in the genitive, which have an adverbial
correspondent with an indefinite form mprejur mprejurul
(around), mpotriv mpotriva (against), contra (against) has only

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LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES


one form, both when it is a preposition and when it is an adverb. The
difference between the two classes is made by the context: Suntei
contra. You are against. (!) (when used as an adverb, it does not
require another term and it can be replaced by the synonymous adverb
mpotriv - against) Sunt contra legii. They are against the law.
(when used as a preposition, it requires a term with a full lexical
meaning, on which it can impose grammatical restrictions).
Contra preposition with the genitive case
In general, when it is associated with a nominal, the preposition
contra (against) requires the genitive case and therefore the form of
the nominal is specific to this case: Lupt contra minciunii / contra lor /
contra amndurora. He fights against the lie / against them / against
the two of them. With reference to the noun, we have both case
restrictions and use of the article restrictions when this preposition is
present, the noun is always used with the article: Lupt contra unor
traficani / traficanilor. They fight against dealers (!) / the dealers.
When the adjective is used before the noun, the adjective takes the
article, due to the fact that the use of the article has a syntagmatic
character in Romanian: Lupt contra cunoscuilor hoi. He fights
against well-known thieves. The same situation occurs when the noun is
accompanied by other pronominal adjectives: Suntem contra acestor
oameni. We are against these people. The inversion of the terms
proves that the article belongs to the noun and not to the adjective:
Suntem contra hoilor cunoscui. We are against well-known thieves.
Sometimes, when the noun is in first place in a structure and it is
accompanied by the pronominal adjective, the case mark is double the
pronominal adjective has to have a form which is in agreement with the
case: Lupt contra oamenilor acestora. They fight against these
people.
As a preposition for the genitive contra does not impose number
restrictions it can be associated with both singular nouns / pronouns
and plural forms: Lupt contra omului / contra oamenilor He fights
against the man / the men.
It is obvious that there is a word order restriction the preposition
always comes first it cannot be used after the nominal: Suntei contra
lor. * Lor contra suntei. You are against them. *Them against you
are.
A problematic situation. The unfulfilled case.
The necessity of the genitive form is conditioned by the flexible
character of the word that is determined by the preposition either the

105

flexion is realised with the help of the inflexions / articles or the term
has suppletive forms (it is the case of the personal pronoun). If the
nominal that is subordinated to the preposition is invariable the genitive
is realised with the help of another functional preposition. From our
point of view the pattern deserves a detailed analysis due to the
grammatical implications: Este contra a tot ce mic. He is against
everything that moves.
First of all, we will make an inventory of all the contexts that allow
such a combination of prepositions to appear. This will be done in order
to point out the solutions of interpretation offered by the linguists. The
very existence of this structure is conditioned either by the use of a
nominal with a fixed form as a dominated term or by the association of
the noun with such a word:
numerals used as nouns: contra a doi dintre ei against two of
them.
nouns accompanied by numerals with adjectival value: contra a
doi foti angajai against the two ex-employers.
invariable pronouns: contra a tot i a toi / contra a civa dintre
ei against everything and everybody / a few of them.
nouns accompanied by pronominal adjectives with a fixed form:
contra a tot satul against the whole village.
nouns that have adjectives derived from adverbs as determiners:
contra a asemenea / aa oameni against the same people.
nouns used together with an adjectival phrase: contra a fel de fel
de oameni / astfel de oameni. against all kind of people / this
kind of people.
nouns used together with adjectives that have invariable gradual
marks: contra a foarte muli oameni against too many people.
plural nouns preceded by adjectives without articles: contra a
numeroase
microorganisme

against
numerous
microorganisms.
a relative clause introduced by an invariable relative pronoun:
contra a ceea ce ai spus against everything you said.
We will analyse the behaviour of the structure by looking at the
association with the numeral: Lupt contra a doi (dintre ei)/ contra a doi
copii. He fights against the two (of them) / against the two kids. We
have to take into account the following aspects: the composition of the
structure, the way the elements work, the quality of the syntactical
group.

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LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES


The pattern of this unusual construction is the following: preposition
with the genitive + preposition with the accusative + a cardinal numeral
with an invariable form (with value as a noun / adjective) a noun
without article. If the morphological value of the first element is not
under discussion, the second one was differently interpreted in grammar
books: it was presented as a preposition that is used to express the
genitive case relation (Iordan, 1937), as a preposition that is close to the
flexional elements (GA, vol. 1, 1966), as an auxiliary word (Graur,
1973), as a morpheme for the genitive case (Irimia, 1997), as a proclitic
affix for the case (Neamu, 20062007), a preposition without a
meaning (GALR, 2008, vol. 1), a functional preposition (Mardale, 2007;
GBLR, 2010).
If we talk about the functions of the elements, the construction
raises a lot of questions: the preposition used with the genitive case
certainly has a relational role it provides the cohesion among the full
lexical terms and it subordinates the whole structure, providing its
syntactical function. It is obvious that it does not impose the genitive
case anymore: * Este contra a doi copiilor. *He is against the two
kids-the. Therefore the preposition in the genitive case seems to be
obstructed by the lack of variability of the next term. On the other hand,
the functional preposition a expresses an analytical report of the
genitive, but it imposes the form of the accusative. If the relation of the
genitive is realised through the demonstrative article, the preposition
demonstrates its purpose: Este contra celor doi (copii). He is against
those two kids.
We assume that, in the first context, the preposition a is used, due
to the form of the numeral. Thus, a statement like: *Este contra doi
dintre ei. !He is against two of them. is wrong from a grammatical
point of view. The pattern can be found in the structures that have a
noun as a governing term (Este mama a doi dintre ei She is mother of
the two of them.), but, in this context, the functional preposition
establishes the subordination report and it is also the centre of the group.
In the second situation, the fixed form of the numeral determines the use
of the functional preposition for the genitive case and at the same time,
it blocks the case flexion of the noun that, in this case, has a form in the
accusative case. Also, we notice that the noun has to be used without an
article: Lupt contra a trei traficani. He fights against the three
traffickers. Considering the fact that the numeral that is equivalent to
two or more has a fixed form, the nouns used with it must have a plural
form. We believe that we cannot talk about a number restriction
imposed by the preposition it is the numeral that influences the plural
form of the noun and not the other way around.

107

The function as a syntactical group is not discussed in present


grammar books. We are wondering if in these situations the preposition
contra (against) can still be considered a centre of a syntactical group
as it does not impose restrictions on the dominant nominal when we talk
about the case and the use of the article. One solution would be to admit
that there is only one compound preposition made up of a preposition
used in the genitive case and one used in the accusative case. Within
such a structure, the first element dictates the syntactic function (it has a
junction role) and the second element dictates the case form.
Prepositional features / Features of the noun used with
prepositions in the genitive case
These days grammar books talk about the fact that many words are
characterised by features that belong to different grammatical classes.
Prepositions and prepositional phrases in the genitive case are just one
example. We have already mentioned the features that are specific to the
class of prepositions: the abstract meaning, the mandatory presence of a
term that has grammatical restrictions imposed on it and the global
functioning of the syntactic group.
With reference to the features of the noun, we have to keep in mind
their form: All prepositions that have an adverb as their pair are used in
the genitive case and they seem to be nouns determined by articles.
(Coteanu, 1982: 263). The definite article / the particle homonymous
with the article are considered to be elements that make a difference and
help turning an adverb into a preposition: nainte (adverb) naintea
(preposition), mprejur (adverb) mprejurul (preposition), n spate
(adverbial phrase) n spatele (prepositional phrase). Two prepositions
contra and deasupra are similar to an adverb with homonymous
form: Sunt contra. Sunt contra minciunii. I am against. (!) I am
against the lie. The difference is made only by the context.
Coteanu (1982: 264) notices the possibility of changing the category
of these words: We have to ask ourselves if these are still prepositions
or if they have become nouns, as dedesuptul it must be regarded as a
noun which has a plural form: dedesupturi. D. D. Draoveanu (1997)
notices that the prepositions in the genitive case might get the meanings
of the nouns, which is proved by the fact that they can be combined with
possessive pronominal adjectives (accusative2) or with personal
pronouns in the dative1. G. G. Neamu (20062007) suggests that the
status of the prepositions used with the genitive case should be
reconsidered and that we should interpret them as semi-independent
nouns. We acknowledge that the substantival features of the prepositions

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LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES


and prepositional phrases in the genitive have become stronger in
todays language. Finally, we synthesize the substantival features:
they require the directed noun to be used with an article: Lupt
contra poporului. * Lupt contra popor. (He fights against people.)
they impose specific restrictions on the nominal group: the
formal agreement of gender, number and case when they are followed
by a possessive pronominal adjective Sunt contra ta. (I am against
you.)
they are associated with a short form for a pronoun used in the
dative case (possessive): Sunt contra-mi. (They are against me.)
they are associated with the functional prepositions a and
la (in common language): Este contra a doi dintre ei.* Este contra la
doi dintre ei. (He is against two of them. * He is against of two of them.)
in the following situation, it is mandatory to be reused with a
semi-independent pronoun: Suntem contra poporului i a rii. (We are
against the people and the country).
Conclusions
In Romanian, the preposition contra (against), when used in the
genitive case, has a specific behaviour: as the centre of the syntactic
group, it imposes form, word order and use of the article restrictions on
the dominated term (noun, pronoun, numeral). Together with the
dominated term, contra (against) forms a prepositional group. If the
nominal associated with the preposition has an invariable form or is
used together with a term that has a fixed form, the preposition contra
(against) does not impose grammatical restrictions and it is followed by
the functional preposition a which expresses the genitive relation.
Thus, the genitive mode of contra (against) is not updated anymore,
but the preposition stays a junction. The structure the preposition
contra (against) + the functional preposition a + a nominal
represents one of the proofs that the prepositions used in the genitive
case have both prepositional features and noun features in the Romanian
language.
REFERENCES:
*** Gramatica limbii romne, vol. I, ediia a II-a revzut i adugit
(Grammar of the Romanian Language, vol. I, 2nd edition revised and
expanded), Bucharest, Publishing House of the RPRs Academy, 1966.
Bidu-Vrnceanu, Angela; Clrau, Cristina; Ionescu-Ruxndoiu, Liliana;
Manca, Mihaela; Pan Dindelegan, Gabriela, Dicionar general de tiine ale

109

limbii (General Dictionary of Language Sciences), Bucharest, Scientific


Publishing House, 1997.
Coteanu, Ion, Gramatica de baz a limbii romne (Basic Grammar of the
Romanian Language), Bucharest, Albatros Publishing House, 1982.
Draoveanu, D. D., Teze i antiteze n sintaxa limbii romne (Theses and
Antitheses in the Syntax of the Romanian Language), Cluj-Napoca, Clusium
Publishing House, 1997.
Graur, Al., Gramatica azi (The Grammar of Today), Bucharest, Publishing
House of the RPRs Academy, 1973.
Iordan, Iorgu, Gramatica limbii romne (The Grammar of the Romanian
Language), Bucharest, Cartea Romneasc Publishing House, 1937.
Irimia, Dumitru, Gramatica limbii romne (The Grammar of the Romanian
Language), Iai, Polirom Publishing House, 1997.
Mardale, Alexandru, Les prpositions fonctionnelles du roumain: tude
comparative, Thse de doctorat, Universit Paris 7 & Bucarest, 2007.
Neamu, G. G., O clasificare categorial-relaional a atributului n limba
romn. Cu adnotri (A Categorial-referential Classification of the Attribute in
the Romanian Language. With Adnotation), in Dacoromania, 20062007, p.
111145.
Pan Dindelegan, Gabriela (coord.), Gramatica limbii romne (The Grammar
of the Romanian Language), vol. III, Bucharest, Publishing House of the
Romanian Academy, 2008.
Pan Dindelegan, Gabriela (coord.), Gramatica de baz a limbii romne (The
Basic Grammar of the Romanian Language), Bucharest, Univers Enciclopedic
Gold Publishing House, 2010.

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LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES

From the art of meaningful forms to the


science of cultural discourse in translation
theory
Daniela Ene
Abstract:
Historically, the theory and the practice of translation have constantly
generated complex debates between linguists, writers and scholars. Despite the
common characteristics in the definitions of translation, no one is able to follow
a coherent and unitary path in the challenging work as a translator. That is the
reason for which we bring into question the existence of numerous approaches
and models of the phenomenon. With the development of linguistics, sociology,
anthropology, psychology in the last decades, new ideas about the translation
process have emerged and this is our attempt to summarize and unify all the
dichotomies and opposed views about translation in two major paradigms: the
linguistic paradigm and the cultural paradigm. While we acknowledge the
value of the linguistic paradigm for it has established a more scientific model
for translators, we also recognize that the cultural paradigm has improved the
perspective, by relating the phenomenon to context and to the values of specific
communities. These apparently contradictory paradigms do not seem as
opposed when one understands that one paradigm is a completion of another by
filling the existing gaps in theory and improving the translation process in
practice.
Keywords: translation theory, linguistic paradigm, cultural paradigm,
equivalence, message, process

Any human community exists through language and culture. When


the speakers of different communities use particular linguistic codes, the
exchange of ideas becomes impossible and, as a consequence, the only
possible vehicle to relate to other cultures and ethnicities and to transmit
knowledge is translation. Considering that translation performs this
function of linguistic intermediation and becomes an instrument for
improving knowledge, it becomes relevant that translation is an old

Lecturer PhD, Department of Foreign Languages, Gheorghe Asachi Technical


University of Iai, aniela24ene@yahoo.com

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concern and a constantly debatable subject for writers, linguists,


scholars of all sorts.
The theory of translation, as it is traditionally named, seems as old
as the practice of translation and appears to be formulated in texts that
stipulate norms about achieving a good literary translation. These texts
belong to exceptional authors and translators: Martin Luther (1530),
Etienne Dolet (1540), John Dryden (1680), Alexander Tytler (1792),
Friederich Schleiermacher (1813), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1819)
(Dimitriu, 2002: 9). The twentieth century is replete with works of
translation theory, as the progress accomplished in linguistics created
new perspectives for a science of translation; authors such as Walter
Benjamin (1925), George Steiner (1975), Eugene Nida (1964), Louis
Kelly (1979) have contributed with their own vision to enriching the
knowledge in this vast and complex area. The study of translation
received in the last half of the twentieth century various names that were
intended to reflect the diversity of opinions created around this
phenomenon: the science of translating (Nida, 1969), translation
theories (Gentzle, 2008), translatology (Newmark, 1988). As Dumitriu
stated, an increasing number of linguists and representatives of different
schools prefer the term translation studies to encompass the variety of
approaches in this field (Dimitriu, 2002: 9).
Over time, the study of translation has developed in the dichotomy
between art and science and it is a known fact that the experts
debates have permanently touched upon this issue of the status of
translation as an art or as a science. In this context, Bell states that the
linguist will inevitably approach translation from a scientific point of
view, attempting to create a sort of objective description of the
phenomenon (Bell, 2000: 22), while at the same time, it appears to be
quite relevant that translation is an art that requires not only the
technical knowledge of a language, but also talent and skills, which
makes it far less objective and also, closer to an act of creation. This
latter view is characteristic to past centuries, when translators interpreted
literary texts and the translations were accomplished by scholars who
spent their time performing great and ingenious acts of equivalence and
re-creation of the classics of world literature. In this dichotomy, an
acceptable and definite perspective is difficult to delineate, but we might
dare to reconcile these two mutually exclusive and contradictory aspects
by stating that translation appears to be an art based on science, as a
translators experience relies both on the interpretations made by the
linguist and at the same time, on his own skills, talent, imagination.

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The complexity of the act of translation and the many aspects that a
translator must take into account in the process of finding equivalences
and interpreting confuses the researcher when attempting to create a
unified and coherent theory of translation. This perspective becomes
obvious when one undertakes an analysis of multiple definitions of
translation. We begin to outline some of the most convincing statements
conveying the fundamental character of translation by resorting to
George Steiners definition who asserts that: the schematic model of
translation is one in which a message from a source-language passes
into a receptor-language via a transformational process. But the famous
theorist detects in this transfer the existence of certain obstacles coming
from the obvious fact that one language differs from another, that an
interpretative transfer, sometimes, albeit misleadingly, described as
encoding and decoding, must occur so that the message gets through
(Steiner, 1998: 29). One of the prominent definitions of translation is
given by Newmark who envisages translation as rendering the meaning
of a text into another language in the way the author intended the text.
(Newmark, 1988: 5). Newmark insists on the idea of meaning being
transferred and Steiner focuses on message, while other authors
emphasize the translation as a process in their definitions. Hatim and
Munday define translation as: the process of transferring a written text
from source language to (SL) to target language (TL) (Hatim; Munday,
2004: 6). Authors such as Nida and Taber find that translation is more
related to the problems of meaning and equivalence and they state that:
translating consists in reproducing in the receptor language the closest
natural equivalent of the source language message. (Nida; Taber, 1982:
12). Other theorists conceptualize the process by insisting on translation
as a product with a certain effect on its readers and so, translation
becomes a rewriting of the original text. Rewriting is manipulation
undertaken in the service of power (S. Bassnet, A. Lefevere, General
editors Preface in the collection Translation Studies, Routledge
Publishing House, apud Dimitriu 2002: 9).
From this selection of definitions, one may conclude that some of
them are quite typical and they underline the process of transforming a
message delivered in one language to a message in another language,
preserving the stylistic and semantic equivalences and also, transmitting
as much as possible, all the qualities of the original message. Despite the
common characteristics in the definitions of translation, one is not
certain to assert that scholars have created a unified theory of
translation, and as a proof for this fact, we bring into question the
existence of numerous approaches and models of the phenomenon. In
the 60s the discourse on translation was approached from a linguistic

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perspective, focusing on words and meanings, and then, on functional ad


textual views. But the more contemporary aspects could not ignore the
cultural marks of the source and target text, as the anthropological
discoveries and the existing cultural studies have recently been the
basics for a new vision in the translation theory, stating that the text
from the source language must be rendered comprehensibly in an
adequate cultural frame for the members of a different linguistic area.
The sociological and psychological investigations mark the translation
theory by expressing non-linguistic views on the translation process in
which researchers attempt to provide a scientific framework for the act
of creation and intuition.
In the theory of translation, scholars have discussed a number of
issues structured as dichotomies: translation-possible or impossible,
literal translation/free translation, source oriented translation/target
oriented translation. Whether the translation is possible or not has been
one of the oldest and most disputed ideas of the phenomenon and
various linguists, translators, writers have presented their complex and
different opinions to justify their theories which have been based on a
primary hermeneutics the lecture and the interpretation of the Bible,
correlated with assertions derived from theology, philosophy and
linguistics. It seems that the necessity of translation appeared with the
legend of the Tour of Babel that illustrates the phenomenon of language
diversity. While some authors argue that the legend marks the beginning
of translation, others interpret it as a warning for the failure of each
translation process. With the development of linguistics, sociology,
anthropology, psychology new ideas about the translation process have
emerged, making the translation possible as the human experience is
quite similar in all linguistic communities of the world. When one
attempts at objectively observing the recent phenomenon of translation
theory, one acknowledges that all the dichotomies and opposed views
about translation have been formulated and widely discussed in two
major paradigms: the linguistic paradigm and the cultural paradigm.
In the linguistic paradigm, it has been considered that translation is
a process of transferring meaning from one language to another. Catford
(1965), Nida (1982), Newmark (1988) propose definitions based on
Jakobsons interpretation who divides translation into three areas
Intralingua translation, Interlingua translation and Inter-semiotic
translation (Venuti, 2000: 114) and in this case, the translation transfer
is possible inside the same language, between different languages, and
even between verbal signs and nonverbal signs. Catford defined
translation as an operation performed on languages, and as a process

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of substituting a text in one language for a text in another (Catford,
1965: 1). As we have previously stated, translation in Newmarks
opinion is rendering the meaning of a text in another language in the
way the author intended the text (Newmark, 1988: 5).
Nida changed the perspective from the form of the message to the
response of the receptor and proposed the concept of dynamic
translation. Eugene Nidas concept of dynamic equivalence, later called
functional equivalence is based on the equivalent response, considered
to be different from the equivalent effect. In the book The Theory and
Practice of Translation, Nida points out that translators were not able to
render the authentic message of the Bible and he argues his observation
by showing that there are two main focuses while translating the Bible:
The older focus in translation was the form of the message; translators
were delighted to reproduce stylistic specialties, plays on words,
parallelism, rhymes, rhythms, and new grammatical structures, while the
new focus shifted from the form of the message to the response of the
receptor. Therefore, what the translator must determine is the response of
the receptor. (Nida, 1982: 1)

Nidas dichotomous concept of formal equivalence vs. dynamic


equivalence is exemplified in the Bible phrase Lamb of God, where
the Lamb signifies innocence, purity in the context of sacrifice. The
literal translation (formal equivalence) of this phrase would create
problems in a foreign culture such as the one of the Eskimos, where the
lamb is an unknown animal, which could not be considered symbolic. In
this case, a dynamic equivalence would be represented by the phrase
Seal of God, for Seal appears naturally associated with the idea of
innocence in Eskimo culture (Snell-Hornby, 1988: 19).
The equivalent effect, pointed out at emotional and mental level,
designates the intention attributed to the source text and faithfully
reproduced as much as possible in the target text. The equivalent
response located in the physical plane of attitudes, aims at producing the
same gestures, positions and answers. A translated work should have a
similar effect on the readers of the target language; the dynamic
equivalence is defined by:
the degree to which the receptors of the message in the receptor
language (TL) respond to it in substantially the same manner as the
receptors in the source language. The response is never identical for the
cultural and historical settings are too different, but there should be a high
degree of equivalence of response, or the translation will have failed to
accomplish its purpose. (Nida, 1969: 24)

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As we mentioned above, the dynamic equivalence has been called


functional equivalence and later became a key concept in the theory and
the criticism of translation. Functional equivalence can be established
and evaluated by comparing the original text with the context of the
situation in which the original and the translation were created and by
examining various contextual factors reflected in the text.
The contextual dimensions are used to open the text in such a
manner that its profile can be revealed. To determine the function of a
text which has a functional component that needs to find its equivalence
in translation, the text is analysed at the level of the language, register
and genre. Translation takes into account the implantation of a text in
the target language, and the translator is faced with the following
dilemma: he either keeps the original function of the text in the target
language or he changes the function of the text in order to adapt it to the
special needs of the other language. Juliane House is the author of this
definition in an essay in which, starting from the functional equivalence,
she makes the empirical distinction between two types of translation: the
overt translation and the covert translation; this distinction helps to
solve one of the problems of cultural theorizing of translation, namely
the conflict between universality and cultural specificity (House, 2002:
9798).
Roger Bell, referring to the nature of equivalence, states, correctly,
that the ideal of finding a complete equivalence is an illusion, because
languages are different from each other, as they differ in structure, they
have distinct codes and rules for the grammatical units in all languages,
and these forms have different meanings. Therefore, according to Bell,
the translator will remain with two possibilities: he should be able to
focus on finding formal equivalence that preserves the semantic
meaning of the text, independent from the context, at the expense of its
communicative value, or he should find functional equivalences to retain
the communicative value of the context to the detriment of the semantic
meaning, independent of the context. Bell proposes a solution to this
problem, claiming that, when faced with a written or spoken text, the
translator must understand not only the semantic meaning of each word
and each sentence, but its communicative value, its place in space and
time, information about the participants, those who were involved in the
production and reception of the text (Bell, 2000: 2425).
All the definitions in the linguistic paradigm have had a significant
impact on the translation theory for they established a model for
translators to work with more scientifically. At the same time, although
we acknowledge the value of such a paradigm, we need to point out its

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LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES


deficiencies by emphasizing the fact that the translators subjectivity and
the considerations about context are not properly discussed. The focus
on equivalences, either dynamic or functional or related to text provides
the translator with prescriptive norms, rather than descriptive ones, as
Werner Koller points out many definitions tend to be normative rather
than descriptive, as they frequently state not only what translation is, but
also what it is supposed to be (Koller, 1979, 1992, apud Shuttleworth
& Cowie, 1997, 2004: 182).
The definitions in the cultural paradigm enrich the theory of
translation by improving the perspective: translation is not only a
process of language transfer, but a process of communication in a social
and cultural context. Wilhelm von Humboldt (17871835) is the first
one to make the vital connection between language and culture,
language and human behavior. For the philosopher, language is a
dynamic process, an activity (enrgeia), and not a static inventory of
elements perceived as products of the activity (ergon). Hence, language
becomes an illustration of culture, as much as an expression of the
individuality of the speaker, who perceives the world through language.
Eco states that a successful translation cannot be viewed as a word for
word equivalence, as the translator does not translate a text on the basis
of the dictionary, but rather
on the basis of the whole history of two literatures. Therefore translating is
not only connected with linguistic competence, but with intertextual,
psychological, and narrative competence. Thus, the translator is forced at
all times to go beyond linguistic competence to the cultural spectrum.
Consequently, translations do not constitute a comparison between two
languages but the interpretation of two texts in two different languages
(Eco, 2001: 14).

In 1990, Andr Lefevere and Susan Bassnett moved theory beyond


linguistic studies to examine the way culture effects translation. They
are the first to propose a major shift from the linguistic paradigm to the
cultural paradigm in the anthology Translation, History and Cultural
(1990) that consists of papers presented at a conference held in Warwick
in 1988 and the original title of the introduction is: Introduction:
Prousts Grandmother and the Thousand and One Nights: The
Cultural Turn in Translation Studies. In the essay, The Translation
Turn in Cultural Studies, Bassnett recalls we co-wrote the introductory
essay to the volume, intending it as a kind of manifesto of what we saw
as a major change of emphasis in translation studies (Bassnett &
Lefevere, 1998, 2000: 123). Susan Bassnett, together with Lefevere,
redefined translation as a verbal text within the network of literary and

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extra-literary signs in both the source and target cultures and perceived
the text of translation to be inter-temporal and intercultural
(Bassnett & Lefevere, 1998, 2000: xi, 135).
M. Snell-Hornby states that translating a text means to consider its
cultural specificity and to take into account the distance between the
cultural marks of the source text and the ones belonging to the receptors
of another language. For Snell-Hornby, the concept of culture as the
totality of knowledge, competences and perceptions is fundamental in
the process of translation. If language is an integrated part of culture, the
translator must not only master two languages, but he needs to have
thorough knowledge about the two cultures; in other words, he must be
bilingual and bicultural (Snell-Hornby, 1988: 4142).
In the cultural paradigm, translation is seen as re-writing, but as
more and more factors are considered, the scope of translation is
widening and thus, translating becomes understanding. Since the 1990s,
as the rising of post-colonial studies and the growing impact of Michael
Foucaults power theory and Pierre Bourdieus culture and power
theory, the relationship between power and translation has been
analysed. In both theory and practice of translation, power resides in the
deployment of language as an ideological weapon for excluding or
including a reader, a value system, a set of beliefs, or even an entire
culture. The post-colonial translation studies point out that every
translation, to some extent, represents one or some other classes
ideology and poetics as the target language and ideology can be
manipulated in the process of translation (strong cultures use
translations as a way of promoting their discourse and ideas).
The introduction of the ideas from post-structuralism has had a great
impact on translation studies; no translation reflects the original, even
the original is not stable. Roland Barthes puts forward the concept of
text, which is different from the previous ones, refers to process rather
than the work itself. He points out there is no such thing as literary
originality, no such thing as the first literary work: all literature is
inter-textual (Eagleton, 1996: 119). With the death of the author, the
scholars no longer emphasize the role of the author, but they focus on
understanding the work as there are various possibilities to understand a
work and therefore, the theorists regard all the understandings of a work
as translations.
The social and psychoanalytical studies have also had a deep impact
on translation theory. Edwin Gentzler asserts that: the next turn in
translation studies should be a social-psychological one, expanding a
functional approach to include social effects and individual effects

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LINGUISTICS, STYLISTICS AND TRANSLATION STUDIES


(Gentzler, 2008: 180). Taking into account the balance one has to keep
with all the three stages of the mental condition id, ego and superego in
order to maintain health, translation is viewed from the perspective of
therapeutic transfer: With a psychoanalytic reworking of an event,
through the process of transference, an alternative translation is possible,
one that is less repressive and more therapeutic (Gentzler, 2008: 184).
Translation is not only related to language, text, but it can also tell the
story of the human mind and can offer a vivid picture of things
happening in the inside world of the human being.
We have shown that since the twentieth century, the translation
theory has constantly expanded by applying the norms of other
disciplines such as linguistics, anthropology, sociology, psychology;
scholars have portrayed the phenomenon in numerous definitions and
analyses, often opposing each other, changing perspectives according to
new developments. From all the selected definitions and points of view,
we concluded that there are two major paradigms in which we can frame
the phenomenon of translation: the linguistic paradigm, based on
equivalence, textual functionality and the relation between languages
and the cultural paradigm with a broader view that takes into account
the subjectivity of the author, the complex and fascinating outcome of
the human experience, the specificity of the context. The scholars
prescriptive or descriptive norms have been the result of the research
orientation of particular periods of time, according to the development
of different fields. Definitions, ideas and concepts have been created,
commented upon, contradicted, expanded in permanently renewable
models, creating shifts in the translation theory paradigms. These
paradigms apparently oppose each other, in correspondence with the
views promoted by the research directions of that particular age, but
fundamentally they co-exist in the practice of translation for one
paradigm overcomes the shortcomings of another.

REFERENCES:
Bassnett, S.; Lefevere, A. (Eds.), Translation, History and Culture, London,
Pinter, 1990.
Bassnett, S.; Lefevere, A. (Eds.) Constructing Cultures Essay on Literary
Translation, Clevedon, Multilingual Matters, 1998, 2001.
Burges, A., Is translation possible? in Translation: The Journal of Literary
Translation, XII, 37, 1984.
Bell R., Teoria i practica traducerii (Translation Theory and Practice),
translated by Ctlina Gazi, Iai, Polirom Publishing House, 2000.

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Carford J. C., A Linguistic Theory of Translation: An Essay in Applied


Linguistics, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1965.
Dimitriu R., Theories and Practice of Translation, Iai, European Institute,
2002.
Eagleton, T., Literary Theory: An Introduction, (2nd ed). Cambridge, Blackwell
Publishers Inc., 1986.
Eco, Umberto, Experiences in Translation, Toronto, Toronto University of
Toronto Press, 2001.
Gentzler, E., Translation and Identity in the Americas: New Directions in
Translation Theory, London & New York, Routledge, 2008.
House J., Universality versus Culture Specificity in Translation, in Riccardi A.
(Ed.). Translation Studies. Perspectives on an Emerging Discipline,
Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Hatim B, Munday J., Translation. An advanced resource book, London and
New York, Routledge, 2004.
Jakobson, R., On linguistic Aspects of Translation, in L. Venuti (Ed.), The
Translation Studies Reader (p. 113118), London and New York, Routledge,
2000.
Newmark P., A textbook of Translation, New York, Prentice-Hall International,
1988.
Nida E. A., Taber C. R., The Theory and Practice of Translation, Leiden, E. J.
Brill, 1982.
Shuttleworth M. & Cowie M., Dictionary of Translation Studies, Manchester,
St. Jerome Publishing, 2004.
Snell-Hornby M., Translation Studies. An Integrated Approach,
Amsterdam/Philadelphia, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1988.
Steiner G., After Babel. Aspects of Language & Translation (3rd edition),
Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1998.

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SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL STUDIES

SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL STUDIES

121

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SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL STUDIES

Foaia nvtorilor poporului (Blatt der


Volkslehrer) (18681874) ein pdagogisches
Periodikum in sterreich-Ungarn?
Daciana Marinescu
Peoples Teachers Journal (18681874) a Pedagogical Review in
Austria-Hungary?
Abstract:
In 1868 the Hungarian Government began publishing the weekly magazine
Nptanitk lapja (Peoples Teachers Journal). Until 1874 the Ministry of
Religious Affairs and Education edited translations of the original Hungarian
magazine into German, Slovak, Croatian, Romanian, Serbian and Ruthene. The
initiative had the stated goal of contributing to the improvement of all teachers
professional training. At least for the first six years the magazines teaching
character is questionable due to its content, the poor quality of the Romanian
translation, as well as the unjustified refusal of the editorial staff, to popularize
helpful topics for teaching activities. Moreover, the pedagogical character of
the magazine has been questioned by its contemporaries: teachers, journalists
and Romanian Members of Parliament in Pest. Among them it was argued that
the magazine was, in fact, a tool used by the Hungarians to magyarize
Romanian teachers.
Keywords: Peoples Teachers Journal, Austria-Hungary, dualism,
Hungarian press, Transylvania, magyarization, Romanian teachers

Um sein Fortleben als Kaiserreich zu sichern hat sterreich 1867


einen dualistischen Pakt mit Ungarn geschlossen. Dadurch wurden
Ungarn mehrere benachbarte Gebiete angeschlossen, es handelte sich
dabei grtenteils um nichtungarische Nationen, darunter auch
Siebenbrgen. Daraufhin wurde die Uniformisierung ethnischdemographischer Wirklichkeit im neuen multinationalen Staat zum
Hauptanliegen der ungarischen Behrden. Im darauffolgenden Winter
konkretisierten sich die ersten Bemhungen in diesem Sinne. Das
Parlament in Pest hat ein Gesetz erlassen, demzufolge in Ungarn das
Bestehen einer einzigen, ungarischen Nation anerkannt wurde

Lecturer PhD, Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad, cainecret@gmail.com

123

(Mureanu, 1961: 231234). Um deren Vorherrschaft zu sichern, hat die


Regierung versucht, die ungarischen Staatsbrger anderer Nationalitten
zu entnationalisieren.
Im Falle der Rumnen haben diese Schritte heftigen Widerstand
hervorgerufen, darunter auch mutige Stellungnahmen in der Presse. In
den ersten Jahren des dualistischen Regimes kamen die meisten
kritischen Stimmen gegen die Magyarisierungspolitik aus zwei
rumnischen Periodika aus Pest, die einen politischen Charakter hatten.
Es handelte sich dabei um Federaiunea (Die Fderation) (Neamu,
2004: 334386) herausgegeben von Alexandru Roman, dem ersten
festangestellten Professor am Lehrstuhl fr rumnische Sprache an der
Universitt Pest (Familia Die Familie, Nr. 5 vom 31. Jan./12.
Febr. 1893, Titelseite), und Gura Satului (Die Stimme des Dorfes)
herausgegeben vom berhmten Juristen und Publizisten Iosif Vulcan
(Mihu, 2005: 222243) und spter vom Anwalt, Publizisten und
Abgeordneten Mircea Vasile Stnescu (Suciu, 1939: passim).
Aufschlussreich in diesem Sinne sind die im Sommer 1869
verffentlichten Beobachtungen in Gura Satului, denenzufolge die
Magyarisierunspolitik von den Staatsoberhupten des dualistischen
Ungarns angefhrt wurde. Mittels einer Parabel machten die
Journalisten ihre Leser darauf aufmerksam, dass die ungarische
Regierung den Rumnen angeordnet hatte, nicht mehr Rumnen zu
sein (Gura Satului, Nr. 27 vom 2./14. Aug. 1869, Titelseite).
Auerdem machte die Redaktion der Fderation im Mrz 1870 eine
Stellungnahme des rumnischen Abgeordneten Iosif Hodo im Pester
Parlament bekannt. Dieser warf den ungarischen Behrden vor, durch
ihre Magyarisierungspolitik die Bildung des Volkes beeinflussen zu
wollen (Federaiunea, Nr. 17 vom 25. Febr./9. Mrz, S. 65).
Einer der wichtigsten Staatsmnner, der mit Vorwrfen seitens der
Gura Satului und der Federaiunea Redakteure konfrontiert wurde,
war Etvs Jzsef, der ungarische Kultus- und Bildungsminister
Aussagekrftig sind die im Herbst 1870 verffentlichten sarkastischen
Kommentare der Journalisten. So htte der ungarische Minister
Rumnisch gelernt, um die Rumnen leichter magyarisieren zu knnen.
(Gura Satului, Nr. 42 vom 18./30. Okt. 1870, S. 166).
Wie einige seiner spteren Initiativen beweisen, hat Etvs Jzsef
erkannt, dass eine Magyarisierung mit Hilfe der Bildung eine wirksame
Methode der Entnationalisierung darstellt. Ebenfalls hat der Politiker die
Rolle der Grundschullehrer in der Verbreitung einer magyarisierenden
Bildung nicht unterschtzt, in Anbetracht der Tatsache, dass dieser

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SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL STUDIES

Berufskategorie eine ausschlaggebende Funktion in der Erziehung der


Rumnen in einem institutionellen Rahmen zukommt.
Konkret erarbeitete Etvs Jzsef einen Gesetzesentwurf, der 1868,
nach der Abstimmung im Parlament von Pest als Gesetzesartikel
XXXVIII in Kraft trat (das Gesetz ber die Volksschulen GA
XXXVIII/1868). Laut Vorschrift bestimmten die ungarischen Behrden
bis 1918 die Unterrichtsfcher an rumnischen pdagogischen Schulen,
den sogenannten Preparandien. Dieselben Behrden waren auch befugt
konfessionelle Schulen zu schlieen, unter dem Vorwand sie wrden
bestimmte Bedingungen nicht erfllen. Die Ersetzung der
konfessionellen Schulen durch staatliche bedeutete zugleich, dass die
ungarische Sprache die rumnische im Bildungsprozess ersetzte1.
Ebenfalls in diesem Sinne beschloss der ungarische Minister ab dem
6. Februar 1868 das Periodikum Nptanitk lapja2 auf Deutsch,
Slovakisch, Rumnisch, Serbisch, Kroatisch und Ruthenisch zu
verffentlichen.
Laut Titelblatt wurde das Periodikum vom Ministerium
herausgegeben, dessen Gebude als Sitz der Redaktion diente. In diesem
Zusammenhang wurde auch die kostenlose Verteilung der Zeitschrift an
Grundschullehrer und Internatsleiter festgehalten. Die einzigen
Bedingungen waren die wchentliche Weiterleitung des Periodikums an
Stellvertreter, sowie die Aufnahme der Sammelbnder in der Bibliothek
(Foaia nvtorilor poporului, Buda, Nr. 39 vom 30. September 1869,
Titelseite).
Was die Finanzierung der Foaia nvtorilor poporului seitens der
Regierung betrifft, so berichteten die Herausgeber der Gura Satului
darber, dass einem einzigen Angestellten des Kultusministeriums (mit
der ursprnglichen Bedeutung des Ressorts der religisen
Angelegenheiten) in diesem Sinne 70 F. pro Monat zukamen (Gura
Satului, Nr. 38 vom 26. Okt./7. Nov. 1868, S. 151).
Das Blatt enthllt von Anfang an seinen demagogischen Charakter,
obwohl es angeblich die berufliche Weiterbildung aller Lehrer aus
Ungarn anstrebte, unabhngig von deren ethnischen Zugehrigkeit.
Schuld daran war die mangelhafte, wenn nicht ganz unverstndliche
1

Nach Angaben des Bischofs von Karansebesch, Ioan Popasu, im Rahmen der
Konsistorialsitzung vom 27. Mrz 1969. In I. D. Suciu, R. Constantinescu, Documente
privitoare la istoria Mitropoliei Banatului, Bd. II, Timioara, Editura Mitropoliei
Banatului, 1980, 898901; G. Sima, coala romneasc din Transilvania i Ungaria
Dezvoltarea ei istoric i situaia ei actual, Bucureti, Inst. de Arte Grafice Carol Gbl,
1915, S. 19.
2
Ungarisch fr Das Blatt der Volkslehrer.

125

bersetzung der ungarischen Ausgabe. Auerdem lehnte es die


Redaktion stets ab, Artikel von reeellem Interesse fr die Verbesserung
der Ttigkeit nichtungarischer Lehrer zu verffentlichen.
In diesem Zusammenhang hob Gura Satului die Nutzlosigkeit des
Blattes hervor. Es diente ausschlielich zur Magyarisierung. Die
Journalisten wiesen daraufhin, dass die Redakteure der Foaia den
Forderungen rumnischer Lehrer nach hilfreichen, sinnvollen Themen
nicht nachkamen (Gura Satului, Nr. 38 vom 29. Okt./10. Nov. 1869,
S. 151).
Im September 1868 bewerteten die Herausgeber der Gura Satului
die vom Ministerium verffentlichte Zeitschrift scharf als
Magyarisierungsmittel (Gura Satului, Nr. 30 vom. 23. Aug./4. Sept.
1868, S. 119). In diesem Sinne fhrten sie einige Beispiele an; in der 34.
Ausgabe des Blattes 1868 waren folgende groartige Worte
wiederzufinden: Jedermann soll Mensch und Ungar sein!. Daraufhin
stellten sie ihren Lesern die rhetorische Frage, ob sie noch Zweifel an
den edlen Absichten des Ministerblattes gehabt htten (Gura
Satului, Nr. 39 vom 3./15. Nov. 1868, Titelseite).
Die Herausgeber der Gura Satului empfanden den Inhalt der
Foaia nvtorilor poporului als dermaen witzig, dass man das
Periodikum als humoristische Zeitschrift lesen konnte. Diese
Feststellung lie sie sarkastisch bahaupten, dass rumnische Lehrer
ausschlielich unsinnige Ideen und noch nie gehrte grammatische
Strukturen daraus lernen konnten. Tckisch bedankte sich die Leitung
der Gura Satului bei Minister Etvs Jzsef dafr, dass er den Lehrern
eine Zeitschrift bot, die so schlecht aus dem Ungarischen bersetzt war,
dass die rumnische Sprache dadurch entstellt und verhhnt wurde.
Gleichzeitig empfiehlen die Journalisten den Lehrern aus den
Dorfgebieten, die ungarische Originalausgabe der Nptanitk lapja
parallel mit der Foaia zu lesen, um letztere zu verstehen (Gura
Satului, Nr. 7 vom 27. Febr./4. Mrz 1868, S. 27).
Nach nur einer Woche verkndeten die Herausgeber der Gura
Satului, dass fhige Rumnen gesucht wrden, die Foaia nvtorilor
poporului verstehen knnten (Gura Satului, Nr. 8 vom 29. Febr./12.
Mrz 1868, S. 31).
In der darauffolgenden Woche hie es in der Gura Satului: Wer
so Rumnisch schreiben will, dass ihn keiner versteht und er sich
schlielich selbst nicht versteht, soll tchtig Foaia nvtorilor
poporului lesen (Gura Satului, Nr. 19 vom 27. Mai/8. Juni 1868, S. 75).
Die Journalisten der Gura Satului verspotteten den
unverstndlichen Sprachgebrauch des Blattes whrend des gesamten

126

SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL STUDIES

ersten Erscheinungsjahres. In einem imaginren Dialog trstete ein


Pfarrer einen rumnischen Lehrer, der nichts aus der ihm kostenlos aus
Buda zugekommenen Zeitschrift, Nptanitk lapja verstand. Der
Pfarrer erklrte dem Lehrer, dass die Situatuion noch schlimmer
gewesen wre, htte er Foaia nvtorilor poporului gelesen (Gura
Satului, Nr. 27 vom 29. Iulie/10. Aug. 1868, S. 107). Die Journalisten
der Gura Satului gelangten zur berzeugung, dass eine so wirre
Sprache, wie jene aus der Foaia, eine Seltenheit darstellte (Gura
Satului, Nr. 44 vom 13./25. Dez. 1868, S. 171).
Am Ende des ersten Erscheinungsjahres der Foaia waren die
Redakteure der Gura Satului der Ansicht, das bersetzte Periodikum
wrde auch in Zukunft die rumnische Sprache zum Gegenstand des
Spottes machen. Gleichzeitig befrchteten sie, Etvs Jzsef wrde die
wertvolle Zeitschrift weiterhin regelmig den rumnischen Lehrern
aufdrngen. Abschlieend unterstrichen die Journalisten sarkastisch die
Freude der Rumnen daran, von den ungarischen Brdern erzogen zu
werden (Gura Satului, Nr. 41 vom 22. Nov. 1868/4. Dez. 1869, S. 162).
Die Leitung der Gura Satului griff das Thema im nchsten Jahr
wieder auf. In diesem Zusammenhang behaupteten die Journalisten, dass
die rumnische Ausgabe des Periodikum aus Buda, aus Gte und
Liebe des Ministers Etvs Jzsef, in eine journalistische Sprache
bersetzt wurde, die nur der bersetzer verstand.
Der Minister ging der Bitte der rumnischen Abgeordneten aus Pest
nicht nach, sie nicht mehr mit diesem Geschenk zu beglcken. Die
Herausgeber der Gura Satului lieen es sich nicht entgehen, dies
hervorzuheben. Die Haltung des Wrdentrgers wurde als Beweis fr
die neue Politik des ungarischen Kabinetts angesehen, die vorsah,
Rumnen unerwnschte Geschenke zu machen und ihnen eigentliche
Wnsche abzuschlagen (Gura Satului, Nr. 8 vom 19. Febr./3. Mrz
1870, S. 30).
Federaiunea berichtete im Mrz 1870 ber die Stellungnahmen
der rumnischen Abgeordneten bezglich des Budgets fr das Kultusund Bildungsministerium (Federaiunea, Nr. 16 vom 22. Febr./6. Mrz
1870, S. 61 und Federaiunea, Nr. 17 vom 25. Febr./9. Mrz 1870, S.
6465).
Im Mittelpunkt stand die Stellungnahme des Abgeordneten Iosif
Hodo, der unmissverstndlich behauptete, dass die Rumnen keine
Vorteile aus der rumnischen bersetzung der Foaia nvtorilor
poporului ziehen. Er begrndete das durch die unverstndliche
bersetzung, wodurch der Bildungsfaktor der Zeitschrift verloren ging
und die Sprache verdorben wurde. Iosif Hodo schlussfogerte mutig,

127

dass der wahre Zweck des Blattes darin bestand, die rumnischen
Volkslehrer mit dem ungarischen Geist zu betrinken und ungarische
Bcher in rumnischen konfessionellen und Volksschulen zu verbreiten.
Der Parlamentarier fand, dass die bersetzung dem Genie der
rumnischen Sprache entgegenstand und veranschaulichte dies anhand
einiger Zitate, die er selbst ins Ungarische zurckbersetzte. Die
Anwesenden brachen in Gelchter aus. Daraufhin schlug Hodo seinen
Kollegen aus dem Parlament vor, die Kosten fr den Druck der
Zeitschrift aus dem Budget zu lschen und auf die Zuweisung der 28
500 Forint zu verzichten. Ebenso forderte er, dass qualifizierte
Rumnen, die sowohl Ungarisch als auch ihre Muttersprache
beherrschten, die bersetzung der Zeitschrift bernehmen sollten.
Als ein Staatssekretr nicht die Qualitt der bersetzung sondern
den Geist des Blattes in den Vordergrund stellte, bemerkte die
Redaktion der Federaiunea ironisch, dass jener wunderbare Geist
wie folgt zusammengefasst werden konnte: Magyarisierung um jeden
Preis.
Iosif Hodos Vorschlge wurden von den rumnischen
Abgeordneten Vinceniu Babe und Sigismund Borlea untersttzt.
Letzterer wunderte sich ber die fehlende staatliche Untersttzung fr
kulturelle Projekte rumnischer Parlamentarier, whrend ihnen
zwanghaft Unerwnschtes aufgedrngt wurde.
Die Ansichten der rumnischen Abgeordneten bezglich des wahren
Charakters des Blattes wurden auch von Svetozar Mileti, Journalist und
Vorsitzender der serbischen liberalen Partei Ungarn, geteilt. So
behauptete dieser, das Lehrerblatt htte keinen Sinn fr serbische
Lehrer, weil diese es nicht lesen wrden (Federaiunea, Nr. 17 vom
25. Febr./9. Mrz 1870, S 6465).
Die Abscheu mit der rumnische Grundschullehrer das Periodikum
der Regierung rezipierten, wurde des fteren in Gura Satului zum
Ausdruck gebracht. In diesem Zusammenhang stellten die Redakteure
im Sommer des Jahres 1869 stolz die vier rekordverdchtigen
Abonnenten der Foaia aus dem Komitat Sathmar vor (Gura Satului,
Nr. 24 vom. 9./21. Juli 1869, S. 94). Die Ablehnung des Periodikums
seitens der Adressaten wurde auch in einer Karrikatur illustriert, die
Etvs Jzsef bei der hartnckigen Verfolgung der Rumnen mit der
Wochenzeitschrift abbildete (Gura Satului, Nr. 12 vom 19./31. Mrz
1870, S. 48).
Auerdem erzhlte ein Redakteur der Gura Satului im Frhling
1870, dass er gezwungen wurde, im Hause eines Pfarrers mehrere
Ausgaben der Foaia zu lesen, um dessen Gastfreundschaft nicht zu

128

SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL STUDIES

verweigern. Hmisch gestand der Journalist, beim einfachen Anfassen


der Ausgaben schauderte es ihn und er daraufhin so schwer krank
wurde, dass er drei Tage lang bettlgerig wurde. Schlussfolgernd
beschloss der Autor des Artikels das erwhnte Periodikum nicht mehr
anzufassen. Zudem nahm er sich vor, alle Nachfahren davor zu warnen,
diesen blanken Hohn zu lesen (Gura Satului, Nr. 18 vom 30./12. Mai
1870, S. 70).
Laut den Journalisten der Gura Satului strebte der bersetzer der
Foaia nvtorilor Poporului die Sanskrit-Sprache an (Gura Satului,
Nr. 16 vom 16./28. April 1870, S. 62). Dies war einer der Grnde,
warum sie das Wochenblatt als nicht lesbar empfanden, ohne in
Gelchter auszubrechen. (Gura Satului, Nr. 23 vom 4./16. Juni 1870,
S. 91).
Nachdem der Abgeordnete Mircea Vasile Stnescu die Redaktion
der Gura Satului bernommen hatte, lie dieser den ungarischen
Behrden sarkastisch ausrichten, die Rumnen htten die ihnen durch
die Herausgabe des Periodikums A nvtorilor romnului popor
Foaie (Der Lehrer des rumnischen Volkes Blatt3) mitgeteilte Liebe
satt. Der Regierung wurde nahegelegt Packpapier zuknftig ungedruckt
zu verteilen (Gura Satului, Nr. 37 vom. 3./25. Sept. 1870, Titelseite).
Trotz der Bemhungen nichtungarischer Parlamentarier und der
negativen Rezeption der Zeitschrift wurden die bersetzungen weiterhin
vom Ministerium herausgegeben. Erst ab 1874 erschien Foaia
ausschlielich in ungarischer Sprache (Rvai Nagy Lexikona, 1916: 422).
Alle erwhnten Aspekte bekrftigen den Verdacht, dass Foaia
nvtorilor poporului ein Instrument der Magyarisierung darstellte
und somit eher politischen als kulturellen Zwecken diente.
QUELLENVERZEICHNIS:
* * *, Rvai Nagy Lexikona. Az ismeretek enciklopdija, Budapest, XIV Ktet,
Rvai Testvrek Irodalmi Intzet Rszvnytrsasg, 1916.
Gura Satului (Die Stimme des Dorfes), Pest, Ausgaben von: 1868, 1869
und 1870.
Familia (Die Familie), Oradea, Nr. 5 vom 31. Jan./12. Febr. 1893.
Federaiunea (Die Fderation), Pest, Ausgaben von 1870.
Foaia nvtorilor poporului (Blatt der Volkslehrer), Buda, Nr. 39 vom 30.
September 1869.

Die umstndliche bersetzung ist gewollt.

129

Mihu, Lizica, Transilvania i teatrul ardean pn la Marea Unire


(Siebenbrgen und das Arader Theater bis zur Groen Vereinigung), Bukarest,
Verlag der Rumnischen Akademie, 2005.
Mureanu, Camil, Viaa politic i luptele mpotriva asupririi naionale (Das
politische Leben und der Kampf gegen die nationale Unterdrckung), in Din
istoria Transilvaniei II (Aus der Geschichte Siebenbrgens II), Bukarest,
Verlag der Akademie der Rumnischen Volksrepublik, 1961.
Neamu, Gelu, Procese politice de pres antiromneti din epoca dualismului
austro-ungar (18681890). Alte studii de istoria presei romneti
(Antirumnische politische Presseprozesse aus der Epoche der
Doppelmonarchie (1868-1890). Andere Studien aus der Geschichte der
rumnischen Presse), Klausenburg, Pro Maramuresch Drago-Vod
Kulturgesellschaft, 2004.
Sima, G4., coala romneasc din Transilvania i Ungaria Dezvoltarea ei
istoric i situaia ei actual (Die rumnische Schule in Siebenbrgen und
Ungarn Ihre Entwicklung im Laufe der Geschichte und ihre jetzige Situation),
Bukarest, Institut fr graphische Kunst Carol Gbl, 1915.
Suciu, Ioan, Despre Mircea Vasile Stnescu (ber Mircea Stnescu),
Temeswar,1939.
Suciu, I. D.; Constantinescu, R., Documente privitoare la istoria Mitropoliei
Banatului (Schriften zur Geschichte der Banater Metropolitenkirche), Bd. II,
Temeswar, Verlag der Banater Metropolitenkirche, 1980.

Der Band wurde von Onisifor Ghibu unter diesem Pseudonym herausgegeben.

130

SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL STUDIES

Sustainable Brains: Deep Ecology and


Dawn of the Dead
Craig Finlay
Abstract:
This paper proposes a revaluation of the critical consensus that societal
fascination with zombies reflects collective concern regarding consumerism
and conformity. This revaluation supposes instead that zombies speak to deepseeded anxieties about our unsustainable consumption of the natural
environment. It is rooted in the philosophy of Deep Ecology formulated by
philosopher Arne Naess in 1973 and offers a novel, environmentally conscious
method of reading contemporary culture.
Keywords: zombies, anxiety, culture, society

There is a critical consensus that zombies, as depicted in cinema


since George A. Romeros seminal Night of the Living Dead (1968) and
codified in his follow up Dawn of the Dead (1979) are a metaphor for
the rise of post-World War II consumer culture. Zombies in cinema are
read as embodying our own anxieties regarding rampant consumerism
and the rise of the monoculture. They present us with an uncomfortable
insight into how consumer culture has forced us to commodify our
identities through acquisition of material possessions. Stephen Harper
argues that audience foreknowledge of zombies as an analogue for
consumerism or conformism is in large part responsible for the success
of the genre, that many ordinary people actually sympathize with
anti-consumerist views and feel empowered, rather than patronized, by
their engagement with oppositional perspectives (Harper, 2002: 2). We
take the connection for granted, the average moviegoer may enter the
theatre expecting to see in the visual image of a zombie horde a
metaphor for the homogenizing influence of mass culture. Philip Horne
writes that the image of Dazed consumers, haunted by impossible
yearnings, shopping for shoppings sake, freed from the casual chains of
necessity but feeling endlessly incomplete, hungry, has almost become
a clich (Horne, 2007: 98). I propose that the metaphor is not only a
clich; it is also incomplete while the analogue between consumerism
and zombie-ism is readily apparent, the metaphor works at best

M.A., Franklin D. Schurz Library, Indiana University South Bend, scfinlay@iusb.edu

131

imperfectly. Incorporating ecocriticism, namely the philosophy of deep


ecology articulated by Arne Naess in the 1970s, results in a morecomplete understanding of the collective societal anxieties at work in the
success of zombie films. That is, zombies in cinema are not simply a
metaphor for rampant conspicuous consumption of jeans, televisions
and power tools but of what we popularly call natural resources fish
stocks, fossil fuels and forests. Or, to use Deep Ecological terminology,
zombies are the very embodiment of our own anthropocentric attitude
toward the planet, which holds that we have a right destroy nature,
exterminate other species and subjugate entire ecosystems in the name
of supporting our own consumption habits and massive overpopulation.
The zombie-consumerism metaphor in Dawn of the Dead works
very well on the surface. A group of survivors of the zombie apocalypse
take refuge in, of all things, a shopping mall. They futilely try to resist
assimilation into the zombie horde while living out consumer fantasies
in the mall, taking what they please. The connection is summed up in a
scene in which Francine and Stephen are standing on the roof of the
shopping mall observing the horde of zombies mill about the parking
lot. Francine asks Stephen, What are they doing? Why do they come
here? to which Stephen famously responds, Some kind of instinct.
Memory, of what they used to do. This was in important place in their
lives. There is no small amount of irony at work here; while the mall
may be important enough for the dead to return post-resurrection, it is
far more important to the surviving humans who take refuge there. It is
also a dangerous prize for the heroes; it is, as Robin Wood says,
associated with entrapment in consumer-consumer capitalism (Horne,
2007: 99). The survivors, having found an environment of plenty to wait
out the apocalypse, are also trapped there, unable to function
individually or as a group anywhere else. The mall comes to completely
fill the need that sociologist Jerry Jacobs later observed that it fills for
suburbia: because of the expanding use of solitary escape mechanisms
[] people are beginning to feel themselves increasingly isolated. To
counteract this isolation and boredom, more and more people are
seeking relief at the mall, relieve that the mall is unable in the final
analysis to provide (Jacobs, 1984: 109). In Dawn of the Dead, the mall
is only a temporary refuge, however, and the zombies eventually get in.
The survivors brief respite is largely spent shopping, having been set
free in a mall with no security and no one watching the merchandise.
This temporary stasis, for Erin Moore, best sums up the contradictions
implicit in the consumerism debate [] On one side of the glass, the
mall is a fortress of community, security, and plenitude. [] On the

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other side of the glass doors, however, the mall is a nightmare in which
the mystification of commodity fetishism and exploitation is revealed in
the grey, vacant gazes of the zombies (Moore, 2006: 28).
John David Goss examines this mystification in The Magic of the
Mall, an examination of how the planned nature of shopping malls are
key to their meaning-making powers. Goss argues that the built
environment is also, always [] connotative of meaning, consistent
with, but extending beyond its immediate function and in that malls
present an image of civic, liminal and transactional spaces, forms
consistent with, but not identical to, the function of selling
commodities (Goss, 1993: 36). Horne agrees with the idea that there is
a deeper meaning for the shopper than material needs, and applies to
Dawn of the Dead the emotional function of large-scale shopping for
the shopper identified by anthropologists Mary Douglas and Baron
Isherwood (103). This view holds that shopping itself is as important as
the item consumed; that, it is a component in a collaborative human
striving to construct meanings (Horne, 2007: 104). Given the
pervasiveness of consumerism, then, Dawn of the Dead also presents us
with the destruction of meaning. For while the four survivors holed up
in the shopping mall have their choice of material goods, they cannot
pay for any of them, robbing them of the meaning-making ritual of
conspicuous consumption. Horne quotes actress Gaylen Ross, who
played Francine, in an interview about the film: These things are only
symbols. A pound of coffee from a store is not just a pound of coffee; it
represents a way of being. In Dawn of the Dead, the symbols have lost
their meaning [] none of it is valuable anymore, because theres no
longer a context for it (107).
The ready consumerist parallels to the movie have made it, Harper
argues, ready fodder for the host of unrepentantly Marxian critics
[who] have described the baleful impact of capitalist production on
those whom it exploits and the depoliticizing effects of commodity
fetishism on consumers (Harper, 2002: 1). It may also be true, then,
that, having been so appropriate; there is little incentive to move forward
in this vein of inquiry. Jen Webb and Sam Byrnand examine how critics,
fans and filmmakers have solidified their own interpretations of
zombies, creating a number of tropes within the genre. These include
novelists, movie-makers, cultural theorists, adolescents, philosophers
and the mass of fans, each of whom has a solid idea about what
constitutes a zombie, what constitutes a seminal zombie text, and why it
is worth researching zombies (Webb; Byrnand, 2008: 83). Steve
Shaviro, in his essay Capitalist Monsters, takes the idea for granted

133

that zombies are an analogue for capitalism, and his main task is to
figure out how to correctly apply Marx to contemporary cinematic
zombies. For Shaviro, while traditional Marxist theory, of course,
focuses on vampires, all monsters are intrinsic to the ordinary,
everyday reality of capitalism itself (281). The major task, then, is to
figure out exactly how Marx can best be applied to Dawn of the Dead.
Like Webb and Byrnand, Shaviro sees ready parallels between the
modus operandi of the vampire and that of the zombie: both are
undead, both consuming the living, and in both cases the consumed
become the monsters by which they were predated. The parallels are too
striking to pass up, then. Zombies are, for Shaviro the inheritors of the
class struggle embodiment in film and cinema.
Central to Shaviros Marxist reading is the tendential fall, Marxs
idea about the diminishing rate of return from a single investment. To
compensate, a positive feedback loop is thus set into motion: the
accumulation of profit leads to the decline in the rate of profit, which, in
turn, spurs an even greater absolute accumulation [] ad infinitum
(284). Shaviro sees a correlation in the zombie dynamic, where, at the
tendential limit, nearly every last person in the world will become a
zombie, save for uninfected elite. The rest, the zombie mass, presents
us with the human face of capitalist monstrosity [] the dregs of
humanity all that remains of human nature, or even simply of a
human scale, in the immense and unimaginably complex network
economy (288). For Shaviro, zombies are both the universal residue
of a post-human world the shuffling mass of consumers, wandering the
planet with insatiable hunger. This line of reasoning, and the reaction to
it, have both become sufficiently standardized that Harper can undertake
a survey of both and examine how Dawn of the Dead has become a
battleground in that debate. While Harper believes that anti-consumerist
critics have been all-too-eager to dismiss consumers as cultural dupes
[] idiots who compliantly consume the images and products imposed
on them by the dominant ideology, the popularity of zombie films
suggests a desire on the part of consumers for resistance to that very
imposition (2). He points out, however, that critics such as Terry
Eagleton, who write convincingly of the glamour and psychological
comfort of the commodity bears little resemblance to the realities of
everyday value shopping. He sides here with Meaghan Morris, for
whom the radical critique of consumerism itself a Eurocentric luxury,
patronizingly aloof from the quotidian concerns of consumers, and
women shoppers in particular (Harper, 2002: 10). Postmodern critics
such as Morris reject the image of consumers as a horde of thoughtless

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SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL STUDIES

zombies, arguing instead that consumerism provides individuals with


temporary empowerment (Ibidem).
Harper himself, however, is unwilling to dismiss the consumerist
implications of the film, pointing out implications of the following
scene:
[] having cleaned up the mall, the survivors stand staring down at

the zombies outside as they vainly claw at the glass doors. In this
brilliantly conceived scene, it is Peter who makes the chillingly
simple observation theyre us. Fran gives a slight shiver and pulls
up the collar of her expensive fur coat (an apparently unnecessary
garment under the air conditioned circumstances), indicating that
while guns constitute an effective defense against the enemy,
consumer goods provide the psychological protection against any
pricks of conscience. The scene dramatizes, perhaps better than any
other scene in contemporary cinema, the senses in which consumers
become guiltily aware not only of their own pleasures, but of the
social costs of consumerism (Harper, 2002: 8).
Finding issue with Marxist readings of post-Night of the Living
Dead zombies is not a counter to the zombie-consumerist analogue, but
perhaps a suggestion that the reading doesnt function as perfectly as its
vampiric predecessor. The tendency to try to fit zombies into the same
sort of capitalist analogue as Dracula is due in part to the pre- Romero
depictions of zombies in cinema, most notably White Zombie (1932).
The story of a young woman placed under a spell by a voodoo priest, the
zombies of this film are subservient, producer zombies of the type
prevalent before Night of the Living Dead gave us the evolved zombie
figure [which] appeared on the screen in response to the cultural
anxieties prevalent in a consumer society (Moore, 2006: 21). Zombies
of this sort are a better analogue for the factory worker, performing an
unthinking, endless task at an assembly line. Another is very likely the
work of such critics as Franco Moretti, who made a convincing case that
vampirism serves as a perfect metaphor for the necessarily endless cycle
of capitalistic wealth accumulation outlined by Karl Marx in Das
Kapital. Marx himself made the connection between capital and
vampires, and numerous critics have applied that idea to vampires in
literature and film. Specifically, Moretti argues that the Count Dracula
of Bram Stokers novel embodies anxieties, unique to late Victorian
England, about its own system of capitalism. Moretti observes that
Draculas goal in his predation is not to destroy the lives of others

135

according to whim, to waste them, but to use them (431). Like the
capitalist, he is driven by a need inherent in his nature; he drinks the
blood of his victims not out of enjoyment, but out of necessity because
without their lives he cannot continue his own. Dracula is, like capital,
dead labour which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labour,
and lives the more, the more it sucks (Moretti, 1982: 432). Moretti
finds explicit confirmation of his analogy in the passage from Das
Kapital in which Marx writes, the capitalist gets rich, not in
proportion to his personal labour but at the same rate has he squeezes
out labour power from others (432). Both Dracula and the capitalist
have the same goal, according to Moretti: continuous growth, an
unlimited expansion of domain (432).
The similarities between zombies and vampires alluded to earlier
make a simple continuation of a Marxist reading seem like a natural fit,
as Jen Webb and Sam Byrnand point out in The Zombie as Body and
as Trope, an examination of various recurrent manifestations of
zombie-ism in cinema and literature. Capitalism, Webb and Byrnand
suggest, works as an analogue of zombiedom because it too is
predicated on insatiable appetite, and the drive to consume (89).
However, they point out that the metaphor does not work perfectly, due
to what is also a crucial difference between vampires and zombies:
[capitalism] is not necessarily the mindless consumption of the zombie
[] There is something unthinking, unthought about zombie
consumption; there is something organized, systematic, about capitalist
consumption (89). The key difference here is one of sustainability;
while capitalism does demand never-ending consumption to continue, it
also must seek to sustain that consumption. Without consumption, the
endless cycle of money used to purchase commodities, sold for more
money, will shut down. As Marx himself points out, the mass of living
labour applied continuously declines in relation to the mass of
objectified labour that it sets in motion capitalism must expand to
survive. Dracula, however, cannot allow too great an expansion of
vampires, lest the population reach a tipping point and outstrip the
available food supply. In this light, Morettis point that the inevitable
end of Draculas predation is a world of vampires doesnt quite work.
Its an observation better suited to Zombie films, as Horne points out:
In Romero, on the other hand, the few surviving individuals are in
danger of going the same bad way as almost the whole of the rest of
society; its a world of zombies (99). Dracula, a thinking being, must
operate so as perpetuate the cycle of victimization; zombies operate so
as to make the cycle irrelevant.

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Zombies have no interest in sustainability and as such cannot


function as a perfect stand-in for consumerism. Because consumerism is
ultimately subject to the needs of capitalism, it cannot be its downfall. It
is precisely the cessation of consumption, however, and of a plateau in
zombie creation, that inevitable in Dawn of the Dead. Indeed, in Day of
the Dead, this is exactly the case, as Dr. Logan explains that the
survivors are outnumbered now, 400,000 to 1, by my estimation. The
zombie population is now essentially stagnant; doomed to slowly rot and
die off while hunting for the few remaining humans. The analogue
here is clear; zombies do not function as a metaphor for simple
consumerism, itself merely a symptom of a larger illness. Zombies are
the embodiment of our destruction of the natural environment,
subjugated to support a massively bloated population. In Day of the
Dead, we see a biological population in an extreme state of what
William Catton, Jr. termed overshoot in his 1980 text of the same
name. In that book, Catton articulates the idea of phantom carrying
capacity, on which he argues humanity has grown dependent. The
phantom carrying capacity is a greatly inflated figure describing the
maximum permanently supportable population (34). Phantom
carrying capacity is inflated by the elimination of predators, the
destruction of forests to create crop land the depletion of fish stocks and
the use of fossil fuels. The result is overpopulation, which supports itself
by consuming at an unsustainable rate, and the consequences, he argues,
are inevitable. Catton writes that, whatever the species, irruptions that
overshoot carrying capacity lead inexorably to die-offs (213). The dieoff is inevitable; it is only a matter of time before the tricks used to
support phantom carrying capacity catch up to the species in question.
Tricks of science and subjugation of environment cannot delay die offs
permanently. In Day of the Dead, the zombie population, having
succeeded in subjugating all of humanity in service of its virus-like
spread, is now doomed to settle in for a long, slow, die-off.
Thus, while critical and film theorists have been correct in
identifying a working analogue between Romero zombies and
consumerism, the connection has not been carried to its logical extreme,
one which maps the inevitable end of a worldwide zombification onto
real-life consumer culture: the effect of human destruction of the
environment. The philosophy of deep ecology, articulated by Norwegian
philosopher Arne Naess in 1973, provides the framework for just such a
mapping. Bill Devall and George Sessions included an interview with
Naess in their 1984 work, Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered,
in which Naess tried to define the movement: The essence of deep

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ecology is to ask deeper questions. The adjective deep stresses that we


ask why and how, where others do not. For instance, ecology as a
science does not ask what kind of a society would be the best for
maintaining a particular ecosystem that is considered a question for
value theory, for politics, for ethics (Devall; Sessions, 1985: 74).
In the context of dominant ideology, deep ecology is rejection of
what Devall and Sessions call the dominant world view, which holds
that people are fundamentally different from all other creatures on the
Earth, over which they have dominion (43). Contemporary
environmentalism, which typically limits itself to opposing pollution
and advocating conservation, is considered shallow ecology. This
operates merely as a stopgap measure and sometimes in service of the
continued destruction of the environment that has come about due to the
dominant worldview. This because both environmentalist and
conservation movements take for granted humanitys rightful
dominance over the planet. In the specialized language of contemporary
conservation, the Earth becomes, essentially, a collection of natural
resources. Some of these resources are infinite; for those which are
limited; substitutes can be created by technological society. There is an
overriding faith that human civilization will survive (Devall, Sessions,
1985: 42). Ecologist David Ehrenfeld breaks down the assumptions of
this technological worldview into five fallacies, which build upon the
preceding into a justification for subjugating the natural environment:
1. All problems are soluble.
2. All problems are soluble by people.
3. Many problems are soluble by technology.
4. Those problems that are not soluble by technology or by technology
alone have solutions in the social world.
5. When the chips are down, we will apply ourselves and work together
for a solution before it is too late (Ehrenfeld, 1981: 17).

Despite the near-universality of these assumptions, there is evidence


that they can or will alleviate the effects of environmental destruction.
This a point Devall and Sessions are adamant about, writing The
technological worldview has as its ultimate vision the total conquest and
domination of Nature and spontaneous natural processes a vision of a
totally artificial environment remodelled to human specification and
manage by humans for humans (48). Frederic bender updates these
assumptions in The Culture of Extinction: Toward a Philosophy of Deep
Ecology, and identifies how to schools of thought generally thought to
be antagonistic, theistic and secular, operate more-or-less identically in

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regard to the environment. These he terms the The Natural Need


Argument and the Human Superiority Argument. The first holds that
since interspecies predation and competition is a fact of nature, all
species are morally justified in placing their own needs before those of
other species, and therefore we have are justified in exerting human
domination over nature and exterminating competitor species,
something no other life form on the planet attempts (70). The second
strongly rooted in Judeo-Christian theology, holds that, having been
created in Gods image, are the only morally considerable beings and
nonhuman beings are mere means (resources) for human use (70).
Therefore, we are again justified in exerting human domination over
nature. The secular and theistic arguments share a common goal; that of
justifying any exploitation and Bender argues that the end result is the
same. He also argues that adherents to either are likely to subscribe to a
third argument, that of the Sanctity of Capitalism, which holds that
progress, i.e., ever-increasing material production and consumption,
increases human happiness without limit, progress is a direct effect of
capitalism, and unlimited economic growth requires unlimited
exploitation of nature (88).
The aftermath of World War II, Catton writes, first saw the
articulation of this belief that the limits to human activity had been or
would soon be removed inspired exuberant prediction. We came to
expect a flow of goods and machines and technical innovations that
would lift standards of living everywhere (xi). This rosy, optimistic
faith in science and capitalism continues to be an important component
of our worldview, and one which, for Catton, can only end in societal
collapse as we continue the cycle of greater population growth
demanding greater environmental sublimation, all justified by the belief
that in the next generation fabulous new technologies will fix everything
before it`s too late. Catton argues that the alternative to chaos is to
abandon the illusion that all things are possible. Mankind has learned to
manipulate many of natures forces, but neither as individuals nor as
organized societies can human beings attain outright omnipotence(9).
This is exactly the argument Franco Moretti articulates about Dracula:
that the Count Dracula of Bram Stokers novel embodies anxieties,
unique to late Victorian England, about its own system of capitalism. It
is a system, Moretti writes, that is ashamed of itself and which hides
factories and stations beneath cumbrous Gothic superstructures (434
435). Draculas unquenchable thirst for human blood embodies the true
nature of capitalism, is capital that is not ashamed of itself, true to its
own nature, an end in itself and the Draculas presence in London

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exposes the great ideological lie of Victorian capitalism, that the


system may be used toward meritorious ends; that is, any end other than
the accumulation of more money (Moretti, 1982: 435).
If Moretti is correct, and the success of vampires in literature and
film has been in large part due to the fact that it exposed the true nature
of Victorian capitalism, then it might we not also argue that the success
of zombies in popular culture since 1968 is because they expose as a lie
another dearly-beloved economic lie? Shaviro makes this connection
when he observes that while Dracula personified the classic regime of
industrial capitalism [] the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries is
rather characterized by a plague of zombies (282). The key word is
here plague. In movement and mental ability the basic physical
attributes of the zombie, what Kyle Bishop, writing of pre-war zombie
films describes as not monsters but rather hypnotized slaves, changed
little (199). Both are slow, lumbering capable of only basic movement
or tasks. Romeros innovation, however, was to have the zombies come
as a horde, an unstoppable wave. For Bishop, the most striking aspect of
zombies as a monster genre is also that which has led to the articulation
of the zombie-consumerist analogue: the loss of individuality. Bishop
writes that it is the essentially human behaviour that explains the
success of such fiends in nineteenth-century literature [] Although
undead, Bram Stokers archetypal Count acts as though still alive, using
his immortality to pursue rather carnal desires (200). Zombies become
lost in the crowd, however, subject to a larger homogenizing force.
Furthermore, what they do, they do unthinking, communally, and
without thought to consequences.
Recall that the extermination of humanity would have consequences
for the zombie population: while Romero zombies do not need to eat
people to live, said eaten people return from the dead to sustain the
population. Once every last person on earth is killed, the zombies begin
a slow countdown to extinction. The analogue between zombies and
Cattons idea of carrying capacity is striking, but the reason why
audiences do not pick up on it is because of the internalized assumptions
which drive our slow, continual domination and destruction of the
environment. If we do not recognize the fallacies of the dominant
worldview, then we do not recognize exactly why the image of the
zombie horde, which reveals these fallacies, terrifies us so. It is not the
gory image of people torn asunder by undead cannibals; that is merely
the message which obscures the messenger. Bishop points out that
zombies movies have no direct antecedent in the Written word because
of the zombies essentially visual nature; zombies dont think or speak

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they simply act (196). The extreme visuality of zombies obscures the
larger and inevitable effect of the zombie dynamic. As Marshall
McLuhann writes in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man,
because we tend to focus on content of a medium, not the social
consequences... [that] ... result from the new scale that is introduced into
our affairs by each extension of ourselves (McLuhan, 1994: 7). An
example he uses is that the content of a novel is print, and so we focus
on the plot, not the effect of the novel on society. McLuhan did not
believe that we extend ourselves randomly; it is when faced with the
physical stress of super stimulation of various kinds [that] the central
nervous system acts to protect itself by a strategy of auto-amputation,
or the creation of a new medium (McLuhan, 1994: 42). With this in
mind, we may understand that the origin of any invention is the stress
of acceleration of pace and increase of load (42). Any sustained
irritation, then, requires a new medium to alleviate it. This provides us
with a partial explanation for the evolution of zombies as a capitalist
monster.
Vampires, which functioned well as an analogue for capitalism for
decades, was no longer able to fulfil that function with the rise of
consumer culture and the wholesale ecocide we began to perpetrate after
World War II. Shaviro recognized this when he wrote, that the
nineteenth century, with its classic regime of industrial capitalism, was
the age of the vampire, but the network society of the late twentieth and
twenty-first centuries is rather characterized by a plague of zombies
(282). He was trying to apply it to the rigid Marxist framework,
however, and zombies do not really fit that. Marxism is as much a part
of the dominant worldview as is rampant capitalism, promoting an
anthropocentric approach to nature. Devall and Sessions quote
philosopher Pete Gunter rather acerbically condemning humanistic
philosophies as simply cloaking the dominant worldview in different
disguises: Pragmatism, Marxism, scientific humanism, French
positivism, German mechanism, the whole swarm of smug anti-religious
dogmas [] really do not, as they claim, make man a part of nature. If
anything they make nature an extension of raw material for man (54).
He raises a fair point; both capitalism and Marxism take for granted
humanitys inherent supremacy. Marxist theory cannot fully account for
the phenomenon of zombie films because Marxist theory is ultimately in
service of the environmental destruction for which zombies are a
metaphor. That the destruction of the natural environment is steadily
increasing as ever more people compete for ever fewer resources
explains the shift from vampire to zombie. Vampires prey on

141

individuals; they operate on a small scale, too small to embody the


societal anxieties engendered by the human-perpetuated extinction of
nearly 10,000 plant and animal species annually. Bender provides a
striking example of the increased pace of environmental destruction that
accompanied Cattons post-war optimism: before humans invented
agriculture, Earth was home to six billion hectares (14.8 million
hectares) of forest. Today only 4 billion hectares remain [] Half that
forest loss occurred between 1950 and 1990 (53).
Part of Morettis argument rests on the assumption that Dracula
embodied anxieties about capitalism specific to the late 19th century, and
it is to this that the novel partially owed its success. I argue that a similar
dynamic is at work regarding the genre of zombie films, that moviegoers
have looked into ravenous hunger of the zombie horde fighting to eat the
last few humans on earth and saw, in those pathetic and dumb faces, our
own future. The terror of zombies is the realization that the dominant
worldview is a lie, that technology cannot save us, that we will not pull
together and fix things before its too late. We do not look at zombies
and see how consumer culture has forced us to commodity our
identities, or how it compels us to buy more, more ever more in search
of material happiness. We see ourselves in the future, an ever growing
population propping itself up by subjugating more of the natural
environment. It is not the extinction of humans in zombie films that
terrifies; it is the extinction of the zombies. We know what must
inevitably happen to them after the last survivors holed up in shopping
malls and farmhouses are devoured and join the horde. Devall and
Sessions might say that zombie films prick our deep ecological
consciousness, an intuitive awareness of imbalance in the ecosphere.
They argue for a revaluation of the Western sense of self, defined as an
isolated ego striving primarily for hedonistic gratification or for a
narrow sense of individual salvation in this life or the next (67). They
argue that this social programming dislocates us from nature and each
other, leaving us prey to whatever fad or fashion is prevalent in our
society or social reference group and [] are thus robbed of beginning
the search for our unique spiritual/biological personhood (67). The
strange attraction to the zombie is not as simple as Bishops summation
that the horror of the zombie movie comes from recognizing the human
in the monster (204), but from a deep, intuitive awareness as the loss of
that spiritual/biological personhood. Anthropocentric societies consume
and destroy the natural environment at a rate which suggests either a
belief that supplies or inexhaustible or humanity will not ultimately
suffer because of it. While our population grows the natural

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environment shrinks, and like the zombie horde in Dawn of the Dead,
many mouths to feed, not enough food to feed them. Of course the end
result of both is inevitable and the same.
REFERENCES:
Bender, Frederic, The Culture of Extinction: Toward a Philosophy of Deep
Ecology, 1st ed., New York, Prometheus Books, 2003.
Bishop, Kyle, Raising the Dead: unearthing the nonliterary origins of zombie
cinema, in Journal of Popular Film and Television, 33.4.2006, p. 196206.
Bishop, Kyle, American Zombie Gothic: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the
Walking Dead in Popular Culture, Jefferson, North Carolina, McFarland and
Company, 2010.
Catton, William, Overshoot: The Ecological Basis for Revolutionary Change,
1st ed., Chicago, University of Illinois Press, 1980.
Devall, Bill; Sessions, George, Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered, 1st
ed. Layton, Utah, Perigrine, 1985.
Ehrenfeld, David, The Arrogance of Humanism, New York, Oxford University
Press USA, 1981.
Goss, Jon, The Magic of the Mall: An Analysis of Form, Function, and
Meaning in the Contemporary Retail Built Environment in Annals of the
Association of American Geographers, 83.1.1993, p. 1847.
Harper, Stephen, Zombies, Malls and the Consumerism Debate: George
Romeros Dawn of the Dead, in The Journal of American Popular Culture,
no.1, 2002, p. 112.
Horne, Philip, I shopped with a Zombie, in Critical Quarterly, no. 34, 2007, p.
9711.
Jacobs, Jerry, The Mall: An Attempted Escape from Everyday Life, Long Grove,
Illinois, Waveland Press, 1984.
McLuhann, Marshall, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man,
Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 1994.
Moore, Erin E., The Dead Speak: A Dialectic Analysis of Shopping Malls and
the Postwar American Consumer, Thesis, Western Illinois University, 2006.
Moretti, Franco, The Dialectic of Fear, in New Left Review, no. 136, 1982,
p. 6785.
Shaviro, Steve, Capitalist Monsters, in Historical Materialism, no. 10, 2002,
p. 281290.
Webb, Jen; Byrnand, Sam, Some Kind of Virus: The Zombie as Trope, in Body
& Society, 14.2.2008, p. 8398.

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Interpretative methodology and


social constructivism
Matei imandan
Abstract:
Starting from the controversies connected to the qualitative and quantitative
approach of social knowledge, this article tries to rehabilitate interpretative
methodology and its role within social constructivism. After the analysis of the
theoretical aspects of the explanation and understanding of social phenomena,
the first part of this paper approaches the importance of ideal types and their
cognitive role. The following section examines the suppositions of symbolic
interactionism and the way in which it contributes to the edification of rules,
norms, regulations or practices of knowledge and action. The last part of the
article focuses upon the implications of social constructivism, of the
convergences and discrepancies which take place in this field, as well as the
possibilities of exploiting this explicative option in social sciences.
Keywords: explanation, interpretation, ideal type, interaction, social
constructivism

Theoretical premises
Associated to the theoretical contributions of Max Weber,
interpretative methodology attempted to elaborate a social science which
had a logical structure similar to the one of natural sciences and to
fundament typical methods of investigating the social reality. For this
purpose, he considers sociology as a science regarding the interpretative
understanding of social action by which he can reach the explanation of
the array of phenomena and processes in society.
The authors argumentation is structured around the following
concepts: social actions, subjective meanings and interpretative
understanding or comprehension. From this point, we can talk about
action to the extent in which it has a subjective meaning for the acting
individual, and the action is social to the extent in which its subjective
meaning is oriented according to the behaviour of the other social actors.
According to Webers interpretation, a repeated rationality
intervenes in social practice in three aspects: adjusting means in order to

Professor PhD, Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad, msimandan@yahoo.co.uk

145

attain given purposes, selecting purposes according to their


consequences and the normative assumption of certain values in the
virtue of persuasion. It thus results that we are dealing with a practical
rationality, seen from a double perspective: as rationality in relation with
a purpose and as rationality in relation with a value. While the
rationality in relation with a purpose refers to adjustment of ways to
purposes and is measured through efficiency, the rationality of choice
regards the selection of purposes according to consequences and is
measured in the values attributed to them.
In Webers view, the rationality of human relations is in a relation of
partial identity with their interpretation because it usually takes place at
the level of one of the three forms of interpretation (interpretation
through reliving, interpretation through rationality and
interpretation through exploitation). These arguments are used by the
author to highlight the difference of purpose between social sciences
(which aim at interpreting reality from the perspective of the cultural
meaning of the phenomena which constitute it) and natural sciences
centred on the causal or regulatory-deductive explanation of reality).
Referring to these distinctions, Clitan (2003), Bauman and May
(2008), Vlsceanu (2008), Munteanu (2008), Coca (2011) and Pohoa
(2011) highlight a few very important aspects for the theme discussed
here: the presence of the human individual, who deliberates within the
constraints of his knowledge, acts with his sense of responsibility in
choosing the means for attaining his established aim, estimates his
chances of success and the costs of his actions, reflects critically upon
the rationality or non-rationality of the objectives he sets, evaluates the
consequences envisaged and not envisaged of his behaviour, opts for a
particular alternative of action and takes decisions guided by a value in
relation to the set of regulations which establish the social action.
The authors mentioned above suggest that Webers approach
highlights at least three aspects: sociology regards the means of
individual construction of life in concrete social contexts, as well as the
micro-social and macro-social levels at which they can be analysed;
although sociology studies individual behaviours and actions, it is also
focused on the social contexts which result from the intersection of
different facts which take place in the social space; identifying the
distinction between the individual cognitive perspective and the social
one, an individual fact being determined by social facts, which
sometimes do not have any connection with the opinions and behaviours
of the individual.

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The ideal types and their cognitive relevance


Coming back to Webers theory, we should mention his conception
referring to the specific of sociological knowledge in relation to natural
sciences and the role of the method of ideal types. Within this
framework, the author establishes as desiderate for the social sciences
the knowledge of the cultural meaning and of the causality relations
from the current reality, thanks to the research focused on what is
repeated according to the law. The thinking method on which these
sciences should rely, Weber continues, consists in the connection
between reality and the ideas of value (the judgments of value about
reality based on the ideal types, in other words value-ideas) which
confer it a meaning. These theoretical constructions used in social
research are not mere abstractions at whose confluence we could obtain
the concept of reality, but mental constructs or ideal images of the
processes taking place in reality, namely ideal types (Weber, 2001:
48).
As conceived by Weber, the ideal types are thinking matrices,
which cannot be found anywhere else in an empirical way, only serving
as a knowledge method. The ideal types, writes Weber, is a thinking
picture; it is neither historical reality, nor authentic reality in itself.
Neither does it serve as a scheme which could order reality as an
example. It only bears the meaning of a purely ideal limit-concept [],
by which reality is measured to clarify the empirical content of some of
its elements which are considered important and by which this reality is
compared. Such concepts are images in which we build, using the
category of objective possibility, the relationships which our
imagination, formed and oriented according to reality, appreciates as
adequate (2001: 4950).
Thus, the ideal term which forms the notion of ideal type must be
understood in its original meaning, namely what is represented at the
level of thinking. Even though the ideal type is not a description of
reality, it is still elaborated on the basis of observations and data, being
an abstract construction of a distinct phenomenon or process of reality.
In other words, the ideal type is not the opposite of the empirical
dimension of social reality, but, on the contrary, this dimension is
constantly present in the construction of the ideal type. As opposed
however to the average or statistical types and the generic concepts,
ideal types do not identify themselves by summing up the common or
general features of these phenomena, but by the rational elaboration of
the idea, fundamental for these phenomena.

147

Lastly, this abstract construction offers the researcher the possibility


to orient himself in the elaboration of his working hypotheses and in the
explanation of the causes and the phenomena within social reality.
Weber himself insists upon the fact that the ideal type is not a purpose,
but a means of knowledge, a tool by which we operate comparisons and,
hence, evaluate the differences which appear in relation with the reality
studied.
In the authors opinion, the relation between this mental construct
and empirical data lies only in the fact that wherever we discover or
presume the real existence of connections as those formulated in the
theoretical construction, we can elucidate programmatically and make
intangible the specific of these connections with reference to an ideal
type. This procedure can be useful in heuristic purposes and in the
edification of representations of social phenomena, as well as regarding
the perfecting of our judging and interpreting capacity. The author
insists to state that within the research of social complexities, the ideal
type is not a hypothesis, but it only directs the construction of
hypotheses. Moreover, it is not a representation of reality, but it only
confers it the means of adequate expression (2001: 47).
It is important to remember that the ideal types are mental constructs
which are neither true, nor false. Their theoretical and pragmatic value
consists in the adaptation to the study of one or another aspect of reality.
The measure of this adaptation can be established in relation with the
way in which this idea can be found the empirical reality, as well as in
the ideal type built. The ideal type and the idea it represents have no
empirical validity. Without them, however, we can have no access to the
evaluation of the possibility of the causal relations involved in the
empirical reality under research.
Max Weber notices an interesting aspect referring to the tendency
which manifests itself in social research of illustrating the ideal type
with the help of concrete facts, although the empirical reality has an
extremely complex characteristic. The author does not dismiss this
procedure, but warns some possible dangers. On the one hand, he refers
to the idea that empirical data can appear as subordinated to the theory
or, in other words, that reality can be deduced from theoretical
constructions. On the other hand, there is the risk of taking the model as
reality, as a consequence of the very similar characteristics which can
appear between the ideal type and the empirical reality.
Within the context of the same preoccupations, Max Weber tries to
find a solution to the problem of the status of knowledge in social
sciences. According to him, scientific knowledge, based on truth and

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objectivity, is different from the real human action, led by purposes,


values and regulations of a moral type. Thus, he makes dissociation
between the empirical judgments regarding social norms and facts
representing practical imperatives. Stating that the truth of the former
and the availability of the latter are situated on different levels, the
authors warns upon the fact that these levels can only be united by an
arbitrary procedure and by forging the role of the given types of
judgment. The demand which he formulates regarding the social
investigation is that of separating facts from values and norms
themselves as social realities which can be impartially described with
the help of positive statements.
From Webers analysis certain ideas result referring to social
constructivism, the role of the individual in the edification of social
knowledge and the interpretative value of his actions:
The social actor gives a meaning to his conduct and this meaning
bears a special importance, because the individual takes part in existence
in and through the meanings he confers to objects, people and social
deeds;
Sociological knowledge cannot ignore the individual because the
social world is not simply a given world, but one built through the
actions of the individuals, through the meanings and values attributed to
these actions, as well as through the spatial and temporal variety of the
cultural contexts in which they live;
Being a world built culturally, the social world can only be
explained and understood through a sociology of an interpretative type,
which should take into consideration the individual and his actions, as
well as the cultural context in which he acts;
Interpretative understanding can be explained to the extent in
which we understand the meaning that a person attributes to his actions
and the array of meanings which erupt from the mental construction of
the ideal type;
The act of interpretative understanding is not necessarily available
from the causal point of view, because the reasons invoked by the
individual often dissimulate the real framework where the activity takes
place, which makes this enterprise have a relative value;
The ideal types are not the copies of a rational social reality, but
the development to the very last consequences of a rationalization,
namely the correspondent of a mental experiment in the dynamics of
reality; thus, the ideal types create reality just as it would be if it took
place in a possible social context;

149

The construction of the ideal types coincides with a process of


selecting actions and meanings from their real diversity, so as to
highlight them and to create an ideal rationality, more or less close to the
social reality lived.
The main conclusion which can be retained is that the interpretative
sociology practiced by Weber and his school of thinking considers the
individual and his action as a basic unit, and considering the individual
and his behaviour at the extreme limit brings the interpretative
enterprise in sociology closer to the understanding of the subjective
meanings of actions and individual interactions studied by psychology.
This is perhaps how one can also explain the new tendencies in
educational sciences, psychology, political sciences, economical
sciences etc. regarding the social construction of reality, as Berger and
Luckman call it (1999) in a landmark paper in this field.
At the same time, the exegetes of social constructivism (Giddens,
1993; Glasersfeld, 1996; Ilu, 1996; Ionescu, 1998; Hollis, 2001;
Cottone, 2004; Vlsceanu, 2011; Sandu, 2012) extend the sphere of
analysis upon the contributions brought by the orientation of symbolic
interactionism. Starting from the purpose of this paper, I will remind the
main assumptions of this orientation, as they have been mentioned in the
works of the authors mentioned above.
The presuppositions of symbolic interactionism
Within a theoretical convergence with interpretative sociology, the
symbolic interactionism operates with a set of concepts which are at the
intersection with psychology: action, interaction, meanings, symbols,
social situation, rules, norms, social role, social role assumption etc.
In his studies of the genesis of the self and of the self-conscience in
interactional contexts, G. H. Mead notes that the apparition of the
conscience lies in the behaviours of individuals which give birth to a
world of social objects. According to this concept, the self develops in
the process of social experience, and the mental structure is the result of
interactional communication based on the use of certain symbols and
meanings by means of language.
Consequently, we are talking about the fact that the genesis of the
being in its role of builder of meanings and symbols must be put in
connection with the genesis of institutions and the specification of their
integrative capacity. The two analysis layers cannot be separated, since
the being is constituted socially, that is in an interactional and relational
way, and society is produced by the cooperation of individual people.

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SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL STUDIES

In such a perspective, man operates in relation to himself and to


others only on the basis of the meanings which he builds in a situational
way and which he activates through interactions. Mead states that the
social institutions are only possible if each individual integrated in them
can take on the general attitudes of the other individuals and can direct
his own behaviour accordingly. In this interpretation, the unit of the
individual being is conferred by the community or by the social group.
The group is the one which offers the being the possibility to
communicate with others by using significant symbols. As a result, the
symbol mediates the understanding and the communication between
individuals and the social interaction which results from the exchange of
symbols within the interactions takes the form of habits, rules, rituals
and institutions.
Other ideas systematized by Mead and his disciples refer to aspects
such as:
The individuals build reality from the relation which connects
them and which is based on the recognition of the symbol as a mediating
element;
The existence of the spirit and of the intelligence is possible
only through the relation with significant gestures, which have the same
meaning for all the members of a social group;
The interactional experience within a group is interiorized as
well as built by using significant symbols;
The social action is the result of significant interactional
transactions and exchanges, where the individual creates himself,
building and manipulating symbols; these exchanges give birth to means
of action, habits, rules and social institutions;
Human conduct is situational in the way that it is created
through the definition of the context where the individual acts;
In the process of interaction, people dont only comply to rules,
rituals and traditions, but create or build new meanings and symbols;
The social actor must be regarded from a double perspective: as
a creator of rules through symbolic transactions and as a bearer of
standardized behaviours with self-understood meanings;
The situational behaviour must take into consideration the
succession of interactions, the social actors involved, their special
placement and the meanings employed;
The social interaction is a formative process where people
where people meeting in different situations build their own opinions,
rules, norms and values which they confront with others.

151

Reaching this point of the discussion, it is only useful to systematize


some implications of social constructivism for the sociological
knowledge and the tendencies which result from the use of this concept
in socio-humane sciences.
Implications of social constructivism
Understood as a way in which the individual operates with mental
constructs, constructivism is preoccupied with the explanation of the
processes in which people get to describe, explain and take act of the
world they live in and which includes them. Constructivism tends
acknowledge the idea according to which the social reality is created
within the process of communication of individuals and the interactions
between them and the meanings used within these interactions.
Placing the formation of mental constructs at the level of the
interactions in the social environment, constructivism highlights the role
of the individual in the construction of certain realities which bear
meanings, and these meanings can be interpreted and negotiated by the
social actors. Thus, says A. Sandu (2012: 29), the reconstruction of
reality is a permanent negotiation of the models, correlated to the new
data of the knowledge, the centring on the plurality of individual and
social experiences, as well as of the multiple interpretations of reality.
Significant statements regarding the ontological and epistemological
status of constructivism are brought by C. Belciu, who states that it
takes into consideration the perspective of the social actor, of the way
in which he replies to the structures, institutions and to the symbolic
sphere of society (norms, conventions, values, rituals typical to the
situation). The social actor is the one who confers new meanings to the
situations in which he acts [] redefining within the interaction the
contexts which make up a situation and, first of all, the symbolic
context. This also involves the fact that the social actor attributes new
meanings to the institutions, social practices and the symbolic sphere, all
the elements which are apparently given within a society (2011: 23).
It thus results that the constructivist model involves a double
approach: a) the dominating institutions, norms and practices are
perceived as given structures, apparently objective, according to
which social actors organize their means of relating to the real world; b)
the conceptions which stand at the basis of these given structures are
the object of permanent symbolic negotiations between the social actors
(the emergence of new meanings and interpretations which, in time, can
lead to the transformation and consolidation of the social structures).

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SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL STUDIES

This perception of constructivism is rather connected to social


psychology, because it refers, on the one hand, to the way in which the
social actors perceive, interpret and use the symbolic and institutional
order (values, norms, symbols, dominating practices). On the other
hand, the social actors rebuild this order of interactions, namely they
institute new interpretations of the symbolic and institutional sphere.
Apart from these aspects, in the sociological version of constructivism,
just as important is the process by which the social actors give birth to
new institutions, regulations, languages, objects, mechanisms of
objectivities and stabilization of the social realities. This involves the
existence of a certain skill of the social actors in the identification of the
different relational, identity, and cultural, symbolic and interactional
contexts etc., which lead to the following conclusion: the object of
knowledge does not lie in a simple reproduction of reality, but also in an
innovative way of understanding and interpreting it.
Although it has been criticized for certain inconsistencies, the
psychological alternative of Glasersfeld (1996) acknowledges the thesis
according to which constructivism articulates around a second reality:
the ontological reality, existing beyond any knowledge, and the reality
lived by the individual, from which we extract what we call conceptual
structures, actions and operations. According to this distinctions, the
knowing subject lives in the field of his completely subjective
experience, while rational knowledge regards the field of experience and
abstractions (concepts, relations, theories, models) built with the
purpose of creating a world as predictable and as organized as possible.
According to the author, constructivism is a theory of knowledge, it
offers methodological principles of instruction, it supports individual
development by creating thinking schemes and it permits the integration
of the new information in the previous experiences of the individuals.
By associating this type of constructivism with the method of
qualitative research in sociology, P. Ilu (1996) warns upon the
following risks: the elaboration of conceptual constructs without relating
to an ontological referent; the stumping of the distinction between the
gnoseologic subject and object, which leads to a radical relativism in the
knowledge; establishing arbitrary criteria of validating the knowledge
which results from the research; the uncritically acceptance of the idea
of multiple truths and of the principles everything is possible,
everything is interpretable or everything is a subjective
construction.
The idea supported by P. Ilu (1996: 67 and the fol.) consists in the
need of methodological integrity and complementarity: the combination

153

of qualitative and quantitative methods in the current practice of


research, using a variety of research data, using multiple methods to
study the same problem, using numerous perspective to interpret a
single set of data, over-passing the opposing approaches between
explanation and comprehension in the study of socio-humane
relationships, accepting the different content that the understanding of
the mental process has in the socio-humane field, identifying the
individual and social conditions where a social construct was elaborated,
the interpretations and its uses in the scientific practice, shading the
relationship between formal and informal, between structuralism and
inter-subjectivity and between stability and change.
If I had to formulate a conclusion of the thinking positions expressed
above, we can conclude that the constructivist approach confirms the
thesis of objective reality and subjective reality which define society at
all its organization and functioning levels. The constructivist
environments do nothing but offer multiple representations of the
reality, understanding possibilities based on concrete cases, critical
reflections upon personal experiences, as well as the possibility of
building knowledge according to concrete social contexts.
On the other hand, society is for each and every one of us an
experienced reality, each individual being involved in interpreting the
social phenomena, either because they appear in behavioural practices or
rules, or because we are talking about social norms, relations or
institutions. In this situation, constructivism is seen as a relation between
the subjective interpretation of the individual and his objective
understanding of the social processes, by which knowledge is no longer
regarded from the perspective of a single person, but as a result of the
interactions which intervene in the dynamics of social life.
The fact that things are different is proved, among others, by a
recent definition of sociology, which says that it is a science which
studies the social world as it is revealed by human realities in behaviours
or actions, relations or interactions which take place in social systems
such as groups, organizations, communities and societies (Vlsceanu,
2011: 2223). In this respect, the controversial problem of social
constructivism and the interpretative method seems to be organically
assimilated in the systematization of the approach perspectives of the
sociological enterprise and the field of knowledge as a sociological type,
among which one can distinguish:
Identifying the continuity and discontinuity in the configuration
of the individual and social life, the dependency between the structures
of the knowledge and life experiments, as well as the relation which

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SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL STUDIES

emerges between the models of interpreting life situations according to


the historical structures of organization of the social life;
The different approach of the units of sociological analysis, if
we talk either about intentional or non-intentional behaviours which
took place at an individual level, a group level or collectivity level, or
about the explanation of the notions which lie at the base of individual
and causal options which determine certain configurations of the social
systems;
The distinction between the levels of micro-social analysis,
which regard the study of the motives and the meanings invested by the
individuals in their social actions, respectively of macro-social analysis,
which refer to aggregations of the individual actions in more complex
social systems and in the analysis of these systems;
Interpreting the means by which individual knowledge and the
individuals determinants of the life experience intertwine with the
contexts of social life and generate each other by transitions between the
micro and macro levels of sociological analysis;
The interaction of the methods of producing sociological
knowledge by the selective application of procedures of a quantitative
type (measuring, operationalizing concepts, statistical correlations etc.)
and of a qualitative type, associated to the understanding and the
interpretation of meanings used by the social actors in interaction
situations;
The complementarities of the perspectives of sociological
analysis which include both the society, the social organization and the
individualities in society, and the value construction of the social reality
by a critical analysis of the contexts which generate knowledge and the
contexts of using the knowledge produced;
The social organization built, where the majority of human
activities and relations take place within the organization and
institutions on the basis of values, norms, behaviour rules, regulations,
systems of interaction etc. built on the exchanges of meanings between
the social actors;
The description of social phenomena generated individually
through actions, interactions, exchanges of meanings, the
implementation of social rules and norms etc. by which the individuals
permanently build social contexts and rebuild their social life on the
basis of the meanings invested by the social actors in their actions;
The relation of the strategies of sociological research to the way
the investigated reality looks (the social ontology), the type of
knowledge by which the subject interacts with the reality researched

155

(epistemological) and the set of rules which can be used to research this
reality (scientific methodology).
Without extending this enumeration, I will formulate, at the end, a
few conclusions mainly focused on the opportunities implied by this
discussion for the research in social sciences.
Conclusions
A first consequence refers to the need of approaching sociological
knowledge according to the levels of organization and functioning of the
social structures, such as: the issue of the social actor, the aspects
referring to the social influences, the theories regarding individual
actions and collective actions, as well as the qualitative and quantitative
explanations which model social interactions.
The second conclusion regards the complementarity of the research
methods, accepting the idea of alternation in the approach of reality
according to the purpose of the investigation, the typical medium of
manifestation of the methodological controversies in economic,
sociological, psychological research etc., distinguishing between the
ontological, epistemological and methodological levels of analysis, as
well as the interests of knowing and certifying the phenomena studied.
The third conclusion regards the relevance of the sociological
knowledge and its reflexive characteristic concerning the distinctions
operated by the theory of social constructivism, the explanation and
understanding of the social phenomena, symbolic interactionism, and
the exchanges of meanings which take place within inter-human
relationships and the research of sociological investigation on the
objectivities of the empirical data and their interpretation.
The fourth conclusion consists in the admittance of a methodology
unilaterally focused on one point of view or another, given the fact that
the social events are built subjectively, as a consequence of the
exchanges of meanings in interactions defined in a situational way by
the social actors (norms, social rules, normative regulations) and the
social phenomena which cannot be characterized properly without
taking into consideration their quantitative attributes, similar to the
methodology of producing knowledge in natural sciences.
Finally, I would add that the statements above leave open the debate
regarding the tools used by the sociological knowledge and the
methodological aspects concerning the sociological way of thinking. I
especially refer to the dynamics of the relationship between the part and
the whole, or between the individual actor and the context to which it
participates with others, the intertwining of individual and collective

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experiences at which he takes place with the objective universe where


they are structures, respectively the reflexive character of the social
constructions and the mechanisms by which they return in the space of
real life to stimulate the critical conscience of the action and to
configure social relationships.

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Dictatorul hispano-american.
Realiti sociale i problematizri literare
Emanuela Ilie
Tnra hispanist Alina iei, proaspt lector universitar la
Facultatea de Litere a Universitii AL. I. Cuza din Iai, i-a publicat
relativ recent teza de doctorat, axat pe o problematic interesant,
aproape deloc frecventat n spaiul cultural romnesc. Dup cum i-o
arat i titlul, Identitate, alteritate i putere. Realiti sociale i
problematizri literare n America Latin (Editura Universitii
Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Iai, 2012) i propune s analizeze dialectica
raportului dintre identitate i alteritate n spaiul cultural latinoamerican, plecnd de la realitile sociale proprii acestui spaiu de o
natur plural, eterogen, divers i ambigu cu totul ieit din
comun.
Uvertura crii, America Latin n faa istoriei i a ei nsei.
Deschideri spre o propedeutic a identitii latino-americane, const
ntr-o util trecere n revist a diferitelor teorii, concepte i etape istorice
care au marcat cadrul de dezvoltare a identitii culturale latinoamericane n plan etnico-rasial i social-politic sau ceea ce s-ar numi,
n termenii filosofului mexican Leopoldo Zea, lunga cltorie a
Americii Latine ctre ea nsi: discursul identitar indigenist sau
indianist, reprezentat de antropologul mexican Guillermo Bonfil Batalla,
teoria hispanic, susinut de istoricul chilian Jaime Eyzaguirre i
teologul Osvaldo Lira, discursul identitar metis, fondat de Jos
Vasconcelos i promovat, ntre alii, de scriitorii venezueleni Mariano
Picn Salas i Arturo Uslar Pietri i de sociologul chilian Pedro
Morand etc. etc. La finele consideraiilor sintetice privitoare la aceste
teorii cu vector apsat identitar, autoarea poate conchide, fr s
greeasc: America Latin are o cultur de acumulri i suprapuneri,
bazat pe o axiologie polidimensional, ce d natere unor formaiuni
naionale i unei suprastructuri continentale traumatizate, care oscileaz
de mult vreme ntre dileme: colonie sau republic, democraie sau
despotism, anarhie sau dictatur. Existena latino-american este

Associate Professor
iliemma@yahoo.com

PhD,

Alexandru

161

Ioan

Cuza

University

of

Iai,

conceput ca un text multiplu, ca o povestire cu final deschis, creat


simultan de mai muli scriitori n mai multe limbi, peste scriitura cvasiestompat a unui vast palimpsest cultural i rasial: indieni, spanioli,
americani, africani si metii o bogat i singular experien a omului,
un creuzet n care se contopesc un ansamblu de rase i culturi.
Cea de-a doua seciune a volumului, America Latin de la
autoritarism la regimuri dictatoriale. Identitatea social-politic ntre
deviaie i legitimitate, surprinde, ntr-un demers orientat diacronic,
procesul de coagulare i exprimare a identitii social-politice din spaiul
cultural hispano-american. Se puncteaz, ntre altele: convulsiile
specifice monarhiei spaniole de la sfritul secolului al XV-lea,
contextul care a fcut posibil descoperirea Lumii Noi, procesul de
cucerire i colonizare, perioada colonial, declanarea rzboaielor de
independen fa de Coroana spaniol i formarea statelor hispanoamericane libere i unitare, ca premise ale apariiei i evoluiei uluitoare
a fenomenului dictatorial n zona investigat. Cercettoarea este
interesat n mod special de formele incipiente de autoritarism de la
nceputul secolului al XIX-lea caciquismo i caudillismo care
deschid calea regimurilor dictatoriale, recte: totalitar-autoritare, din
America Latin. Acestea sunt clasificate i descrise succint ntr-un
subcapitol dens, bine documentat politologic, numit chiar Regimuri
autoritare: clasificare i etapizare. Prezentarea celor patru forme de
regim dictatorial aa-numitul caudilismo primitiv de la nceputul
secolului al XIX-lea, reprezentat de Manuel de Rosas (Argentina), Jos
Antonio Pez (Venezuela), Antonio Lpez de Santa Anna (Mexic) i
Rafael Carrera (Guatemala); dictatura oligarho-militar dintre anii 1850/
1880 i 1914, al crei prototip a fost Porfirio Diaz; dictatura populist,
care s-a manifestat ntre 1916 i 1958 (odat cu instaurarea hegemoniei
nord-americane), dar a atins apogeul n timpul regimului dictatorial al
argentinianului Juan Domingo Pern; n sfrit, dictaturile instalate dup
Revoluia cubanez (1958) este urmat de consideraii privitoare la
raportul dintre autoritarism, democraie i micrile de insurgen:
terorismul i gherila. Concluzia lor este din nou ferm: naiunile
hispano-americane nu se pot desprinde definitiv de reminiscenele
trecutului colonial i nici nu pot accede pe deplin la condiiile statului de
drept ceea ce explic ntr-o foarte mare msur apariia i persistena
regimurilor totalitar-autoritare. Pe scurt, credem c se poate vorbi despre
un pattern cultural i emoional rezultat al unor condiii istorice
negative adnc nrdcinat n mentalul colectiv, care invit la statutul
de naiuni dominate din punct de vedere teritorial, economic, politic,
social ori cultural i despre nevoia organic de a dezvolta o form de

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dependen n raport cu o entitate politic extern (state europene ori


Statele Unite ale Americii) sau cu o figur politic autohton care s le
dirijeze destinele (subl. aut.).
De un interes filologic real sunt abia urmtoarele dou seciuni ale
crii: Identitatea estetico-literar n Romanul dictatorului. Realitate
i ficiune, respectiv Patriarhul lui Gabriel Garcia Mrquez:
morfogeneza identitar a dictatorului hispano-american i discursul
(de)mitologizant n Toamna Patriarhului studiu de caz. Ele ofer o
panoramare credibil a figurii dictatorului ca personaj istoric i livresc
n cele patru curente nelese ca pietre de temelie n configurarea
identitii estetico-literare a subcontinentului american, din perioada
colonial i pn la nceputul secolului al XXI-lea: romantism,
costumbrism-regionalism, modernism i postmodernism. Prudent,
ocolind controversele cunoscute din cmpul teoriei, geografiei sau
arheologiei literare, Alina iei se preocup exclusiv de evoluia temei
puterii i/sau a figurii autoritare, distructive, crude i sngeroase n
creaiile epice, lirice i dramatice scrise ncepnd cu secolul al XVI-lea.
Prefigurrile din poemele epice La Araucana (1569-1589) de Alonso de
Ercilla y Ziga i Arauco Domado (1596) de Pedro de Oa, dictatorii
transfigurai poetic de romanticii Jos Mrmol n Armonas (1851) i
Juan Cruz Varela n El 25 de mayo de 1838 sau de modernii Jos Mart,
Cesar Vallejo, Pablo Neruda .a., figurile dictatoriale recognoscibile n
operele dramaturgilor Manuel Asensio Segura, Ignacio Rodrguez
Galvn, Ernesto Herrera i Mario Benedetti ori ale romancierilor Jos
Mrmol, Jos de Irisarri, Gustavo Adolfo Navarro, Martin Luis
Guzmn, Valle-Incln i Miguel ngel Asturias sunt interpretate succint
sau ceva mai extins, inndu-se cont doar de funcionalitatea fiinei de
hrtie care o intereseaz pe autoare.
n mod evident, cele mai consistente pasaje sunt alocate analizei
figurii dictatorului din romanele lui Gabriel Garcia Mrquez. Utiliznd
concepte i perspective teoretice preluate din paradigma interacionistsimbolic a colii de la Chicago, care mbin sociologia i comunicarea
social, Alina iei consider spaiul romanesc investigat drept o
ordine social cu caracter interacional i comunicaional, unde
personajele acioneaz i se relaioneaz reciproc ntr-o manier similar
unei reprezentaii dramatice, n cazul de fa n trei acte corespunztoare
unei dimensiuni trivalente: mesianic, cultic i satanic. Astfel,
interaciunii generice dintre Eu i Cellalt, entiti aflate ntr-o
antinomie dialectic, i se subsumeaz o interaciune particular de rang
secund, ce se circumscrie unui model dramaturgic care introduce o
perspectiv dihotomic asupra sinelui (subl. aut.). Cel mai vizibil, acest

163

model dramaturgic care ar presupune scindarea Eului n actant sau Euactor (performer) i personaj sau Eu-reprezentat (character) se
manifest, n opinia sa, n construcia i evoluia personajului central din
Toamna patriarhului: Cu sprijinul serviciilor de propagand ale
aparatului de stat, patriarhul preia rolul Eului-actor pentru a induce n
contiina Celuilalt poporul ignorant i abrutizat imaginea fals a
condiiei sale dumnezeieti... Cea de-a doua faet a Eului-reprezentat
imaginea real a patriarhului, n ipostaza sa uman, cu drame interioare,
defecte i slbiciuni ce strnesc compasiunea, dar afind totodat o
personalitate satanic copleitoare este redat cu ajutorul aceluiai
arsenal narativ-stilistic prin care se urmrete demitizarea dictatorului.
Cu certitudine, instrumentele analitice pentru care opteaz tnra
cercettoare n Identitate, alteritate i putere... sunt discutabile, cci
reducioniste (iar pentru decriptarea semnificaiilor de profunzime ale
ficiunilor dictatoriale avute n vedere, s-ar fi putut aplica la fel de bine
i altfel de grile sau perspective critice). Ele i servesc ns de minune
pentru formularea concluziei demersului investigativ: Suntem
ncredinai c acest studiu de caz ntreprins pe o oper literar
considerat n mod deosebit relevant pentru scopul lucrrii (Toamna
patriarhului) a demonstrat c romanul despre dictator i dictatur este
ntr-adevr o form de manifestare a identitii culturale latinoamericane, ntruct reliefeaz sugestiv modul cum sunt inserate i
oglindite n textul literar realiti concrete tipice Americii Latine.
Nu ne putem pronuna, desigur, n privina felului n care va
reaciona hispanistica romneasc la apariia acestei cri cu un subiect
dintre cele mai sensibile i o miz identitar macro-. O putem ns
recomanda celorlali cititori mai mult sau mai puin... filologi,
ncredinndu-i c vor putea descoperi ntre copertele ei sobre suficieni
centri de interes, de la inventarul conceptual bine exemplificat (gaucho,
cacique, caudillo, gheril, machism...) la examinarea obiectiv a
versiunilor uneori divergente, alteori caduce sau deviate ideologic
ale sociologilor sau hermeneuilor care se tot apleac, de decenii ntregi,
asupra matricei ethosului cultural latino-american.

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